Animals and the Law

Humane Canada promotes the enactment of federal, provincial and municipal legislation that protects animals from cruelty and provides a legal framework to ensure animals are treated humanely and with respect.

Canada is widely considered to be a progressive, civilized country with plenty of laws on the books to protect its citizens from various forms of violence, disorderly conduct and theft, but we have a dismal record when it comes to protecting animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect.

While countries all over the world have updated or enacted effective animal welfare legislation, Canada lags behind in making equally substantial legal improvements to better protect animals.

Here are some of the considerable changes to the federal animal cruelty law (the Criminal Code) that we have achieved with your support:

  • Achieving greater protections for police, military and service dogs
  • Closing the bestiality loophole
  • Getting those convicted of bestiality to be required to be on the sex offender registry
  • Improving animal fighting offences
  • Banning the captivity of whales and dolphins
  • Banning cosmetic animal testing and trade
  • Phasing out toxic chemical testing on animals

Featured articles

Record animal cruelty sentence makes the case for Violence Link collaboration

In September, the longest sentence ever in Canada for animal abuse was handed down in a Calgary courtroom. Humane Canada’s new Articles & Opinions piece explores the groundbreaking Raugust case and the deep story behind it. Read more