Manitoba Toughens Animal-Abuse Law – for Oct. 11, 2010

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Added regulations blocking the shipping and sale of livestock unfit for transport are now in effect in Manitoba.

The province has proclaimed its Animal Care Amendment Act, which specifically bans the loading and transportation of animals that aren’t fit to transport and those that can’t be moved without causing suffering.

The amendments also ban stockyards and other such assembly sites from accepting such animals for commercial trade. he new rules will also protect operators of such commercial sites who report the arrival of unfit animals.

The act also provides for protection from liability for veterinarians who report suspected cases of animal neglect or abuse.

The amendments also expand the authority of animal-protection officers, particularly as it relates to their ability to take action to prevent harm or to seize animals considered to be in abusive or abandoned situations.

The act also doubles the fines available for animal-care offences to a maximum of $10,000 from $5,000 for a first offence, and to a maximum of $20,000 from $10,000 for a second or subsequent offence. It also doubles the available jail term for a second offence to a maximum 12 months, up from six.

A person convicted of an Animal Care Act offence could also now be restricted from owning or caring for animals for life, the province said.

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