|Detailed Discussion of Canada's Anti-Cruelty Laws
|Animal Legal & Historical Center
|This paper summarizes the current state of Canadian animal anti-cruelty laws. It examines the federal, provincial, and municipal laws that govern and enforce penalties against those who commit cruel acts against animals. The paper also examines select cases in Canadian animal cruelty jurisprudence and compares Canadian anti-cruelty laws with their counterparts in the United States.
|Detailed Discussion of Polar Bears and the Laws Governing Them in the Five Arctic States
|Sarah R. Morgan
|Animal Legal and Historical Web Center
This discussion provides a description of the current threats to polar bears and how the current legislative regimes in Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and the the United States respond to these threats.
|Ferguson v. Birchmount Boarding Kennels Ltd.
|2006 CarswellOnt 399
|207 O.A.C. 98, 79 O.R. (3d) 681
In August 2002, plaintiffs’ dog escaped while being exercised at defendant-kennel’s boarding facility. Birchmount appeals from the judgment claiming the court applied the wrong standard of care, and that the court erred in law in awarding the plaintiffs damages for pain and suffering. The reviewing court found that the evidence would likely have led to the same conclusion regardless of whether a “bailment” standard was used. Further, this court was satisfied that the trial judge did not err in law or in fact in making findings and in awarding general damages where there was evidence that the plaintiffs experienced pain and suffering upon learning of the dog’s escape.
|Fisher v. Liptak
Two pet llamas owned by the plaintiff Fisher were attacked on two separate occasions by dogs, including by a dog owned by the defendant Liptak, causing the death of one llama and, two weeks later, injury to the second llama. After the first attack, Liptak's dog returned covered with saliva and blood, although it had no bleeding wounds; he suspected the dog had been in a fight or attack but did not investigate. His dog was later discovered injuring the second llama. The court ruled that Liptak's finding indications of the first attack put him on notice that the dog had a 'vicious or mischievous propensity to attack other animals,' sufficient to make him strictly liable under the doctrine of scienter, for the second llama's injuries, but not for the first, for which Liptak lacked the requisite knowledge. Similarly, Liptak was not liable in negligence in the first attack, since in that rural area all the local owners let their dogs run at large and Liptak had no prior reason to suspect his dog would attack; the judge did not discuss whether Liptak was liable in negligence for the second attack.
|Friesen v. Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
|2008 CarswellSask 438
|2008 SKQB 150
An animal protection officer received a complaint that two dogs were not receiving proper care. Officer Barry Thiessen, an animal protection officer employed by the S.S.P.C.A., observed that dogs appeared malnourished and in distress from lack of food and water. Upon returning the next day, Thiessen determined that the conditions were unchanged and the dogs were then seized pursuant to the warrant. The appellant dog owner brought an application for declaration that the officer seized dogs in contravention of an owner's rights under s. 8 of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and in excess of officer's authority. In dismissing his application, the court found that the warrant was lawfully obtained pursuant to provisions of the Animal Protection Act, 1999. The officer had a legitimate reason to come to property of the dog owner to investigate after he received a complaint, and it was there that he saw the dogs’ condition in "plain view" according to the court.
|Harvard College v. Canada (Commissioner of Patents)
|2002 SCC 76
| 4 S.C.R. 45
The respondent applied for a patent on an invention entitled “transgenic animals”. In its patent application, the respondent seeks to protect both the process by which the "oncomice" are produced and the end product of the process, i.e. the founder mice and the offspring whose cells contain the oncogene. The process and product claims extend to all non‑human mammals. The process claims were allowed by the Patent Examiner, while the product claims were rejected. The appellant Commissioner confirmed the refusal of the product claims. The Federal Court, Trial Division, dismissed the respondent’s appeal from the appellant’s decision. At the Supreme Court of Canada, the Court held the appeal should be allowed. A higher life form is not patentable because it is not a “manufacture” or “composition of matter” within the meaning of “invention” in s. 2 of the Patent Act .
|Janota-Bzowska v. Lewis
|96 B.C.A.C. 70, 155 W.A.C. 70, 43 B.C.L.R. (3d) 352,  B.C.J. No. 2053
The respondent Janota-Bzowska was an invited guest at the home of the appellant Lewises, where another guest (appellant Holtzman) had tied his Labrador dog outside; the dog lunged at the respondent, causing her to fall and break her finger. A trial court earlier found both dog-owner and home-owners liable to Janota-Bzowska under the doctrines of scienter (strict liabilty) and negligence. On appeal, the court held that there was insufficient evidence to establish that the dog had a propensity to lunge at people, or that the owner knew of such propensity, although the dog was known to chase deer. However, this was not sufficient to allow recovery under scienter. On the issue of negligence, the court also held that the dog's behaviour being 'unexpected and out of character' showed no suggestion of a risk for which the owner had failed to take reasonable precautions, so there was no negligence shown.
|McAllister v. Wiegand
The plaintiff, a 55-year old woman and recent acquaintance of the defendants, was bitten on the cheek by the defendant's bull mastiff dog, resulting in a spreading infection and loss of all her teeth. The plaintiff was an invited guest in the defendant's home where she had been on 3-4 prior occasions. There was a question over whether the incident arose when the plaintiff startled the dog from sleep by petting it while bending over it, or whether the dog had just awakened when it was petted and bit her. The court found that dog and plaintiff were familiar with each other and there was nothing provocative that should have caused the dog to retaliate. Thus according to Ontario's Dog Owner Liability Act, where owners are strictly or absolutely liable for their dogs' injuries to others, the defendants were strictly liable to the plaintiff for her injuries.
|Montier v. Hall
|2002 CarswellAlta 156
|2002 ABQB 70, 314 A.R. 299
This is a Provincial Court Civil Claims appeal from an award to plaintiffs/respondents for $865.00 in veterinary expenses as against defendant/appellant. This matter arose out of the sale of a black female Belgian Sheepdog that was eventually euthanized by the respondents at four months of age, two months after it was purchased due to serious hereditary defects. The purchase agreement signed by respondents warranted the puppy against serious hereditary defects or illness until 25 months of age, but limited the damages to replacement of the puppy with another puppy. In affirming the award of damages, this court found that the contract does not specifically exclude compensation for veterinary expenses or for consequential damages; hence, it does not exclude liability by the supplier for the purchaser's veterinary expenses incurred as a result the defective dog.
|Morsillo v. Migliano
|1985 CarswellOnt 786
|13 C.C.L.I. 1, 52 O.R. (2d) 319, 32 A.C.W.S. (2d) 207
The child plaintiff Morsillo was attacked and bitten by a neighbour's pet German Shepherd, which tended to 'bark savagely' at local children, had bitten once before, and was kept in a secure fenced yard and only taken out on a leash and choke-chain. The boy was playing cops and robbers with the owner's son on the owner's front lawn, while the owner's teenaged daughter was taking the leashed dog to the garage, when it escaped and attacked. No provocation of the dog was proven so the owners were found strictly liable under the Dog Owner's Liability Act (which abrogates scienter in that province) and also liable in negligence, with no contributory negligence by the plaintiff; the provincial Ontario Health Insurance Plan was entitled to recover the costs of the plaintiff's care from the defendants.