|THE ANIMAL RIGHTS DEBATE AND THE EXPANSION OF PUBLIC DISCOURSE: IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THE LAW PROTECTING ANIMALS TO SIMULTANEOUSLY FAIL AND SUCCEED?
|18 Animal L. 281 (2012)
This Article uses the theory of deliberative democracy, as developed by Jürgen Habermas and others, to suggest that public discourse is essential to encouraging democratic change in animal welfare law. The author examines the legal regimes of Canada and New Zealand to determine which country better facilitates a public dialogue about the treatment of animals. The Article concludes that, while Canada has a number of laws that ostensibly protect animals, New Zealand’s regime is much better at creating the public discourse required to meaningfully advance animal protection. The author does not suggest that New Zealand’s regime is perfect; rather, New Zealand’s model is preferable to Canada’s because it allows the public to meaningfully engage in laws affecting animals at regular intervals. In Canada, generating discussion in government about animal welfare is too often left to the whim of legislators. Due to New Zealand’s model of encouraging and requiring public discourse, its protection laws have begun to surpass those of Canada, and there is reason to believe this will continue. Encouraging public discourse about our assumptions about animals fosters hope for meaningful progress in their lives.
|Tulloch v. Melnychuk
|1998 CarswellAlta 573
In this case, the Plaintiff seeks damages from the Defendants for trespass to chattels. She alleged that the Defendants shot her valuable dog. The Defendants countered that they were justified in shooting the dog since it was on their land chasing and worrying their cattle contrary to the Stray Animals Act, R.S.A. 1980, c. S-23, Part 3. Here, the court found credible the testimony from the defendant cow-operator that the dog was chasing a lame cow to the point where the cow was exhausted. The action by plaintiff was dismissed.
|Whelen v. Barlow
|1975 CarswellAlta 242
| W.W.D. 35
Plaintiff Whelen was drunken, threatening and disorderly in defendant Barlow's hotel bar, where he kept guard dogs for the purpose of preventing break-ins and keeping the peace. After the plaintiff and friends were asked to leave the premises and not return, he later returned, making threatening gestures and was bitten on the face and arm by one of the guard-dogs. The court held that the plaintiff was 2/3 contributorily liable for his injuries, since when he returned he was trespassing; the defendant was 1/3 contributorily liable since the court held that keeping volatile guard-dogs as bouncers was not reasonable.
|Xu v. Chen
|2008 CarswellBC 1693
|2008 BCPC 234
The Claimant's six-month old sheltie puppy, "Diamond,” suffered a serious limb injury outside the front yard of the family home. Claimant seeks to recover the veterinarian costs she incurred to treat the dog's injury against Defendants, the owners of the other dog that allegedly attacked claimant’s dog. The court found that there was evidence that Defendant was previously contacted by Animal Control as well as a neighbor about an incident where Angus lunged at another dog. The Claimant has established, on a balance of probabilities, that Angus had manifested a propensity to cause the type of harm occasioned that night. Claimant was 25% liable for the incident where she left Diamond in an unfenced yard that gave other dogs access. The court denied Xu’s claim of $5500 for future medical costs for the care of Diamond because there was no evidence what these would be and the dog was currently living with another family.