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Wild Animal Law of Canada

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Miscellaneous Animal-Related Acts (Quebec)

(current to 01 November 2016)


Note Re Application of these Statutes

These are a smattering of animal-related provisions located in Quebec statutes with other primary themes. They don't lend themselves to being associated with any other module.
Note re Quebec's Animal Welfare and Safety Act
After years of effort by animal welfare and rights activists, Quebec's Animal Welfare and Safety Act ('AWSA') was brought into force in 2015, along with related amendments to other Acts. Those other Acts, as they relate to wildlife are considered within this module, however the ASWA is restricted entirely to domestic animals it therefore has no relevance to this wild animals law guide [ASWA 1]. In particular, note that welfare and safety law regarding wildlife in captivity as 'companion animals' is expressly relegated to Quebec's Conservation and Development of Wildlife Act ('CDWA') [AWSA 2] [see that module].
This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
  • PROTECTION
  • OWNERSHIP AND POSSESSION
  • CIVIL LIABILITY
The full current text of these laws and their regulations may be viewed at the Quebec statute website.
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In light of the above note re the Animal Welfare and Safety Act ('AWSA'), this module ends up as a bit of a hodge-podge of provisions drawn from several statutes, which can be succinctly stated as follows:
  • local societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals may be formed under the Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act ('SPCAA') for each electoral district in the province [SPCAA 1] (relevant to enforcement of the Criminal Code anti-cruelty provisions respecting wild animals, though not the AWSA);

  • "(a)nimals are not things. They are sentient beings and have biological needs. In addition to the provisions of special Acts which protect animals, the provisions of this Code and of any other Act concerning property nonetheless apply to animals." [Civil Code of Quebec ('CCQ') 898.1];

  • "(t)he owner of an animal is bound to make reparation for injury it has caused, whether the animal was under his custody or that of a third person, or had strayed or escaped. A person making use of the animal is also, during that time, liable therefor together with the owner." [CCQ 1466];

  • (a)ny stipulation in a contract whereby the carrier or the lessor is relieved from the obligation to make reparation for injury resulting from the loss sustained by the property carried, except in the case of carriage of live animals or property stowed on deck other than containers loaded on a ship fitted for the carriage of containers, is null. Any clause assigning the benefit of insurance to the carrier or any similar clause is considered to be a stipulation relieving the carrier from liability". [CCQ 2070];

  • companion animals are exempt from seizure in the hands of debtors [Code of Civil Procedure ('CCP') 694];

  • where a vehicle driver is involved in accident involving an animal weighing over 25kgs, and where the owner cannot be found at the scene or nearby, the driver must "communicate immediately with the nearest police station to report the accident" [Highway Safety Code ('HSC') 171];

    Logically, in terms of it's application to wildlife, this provision would only apply to the rare situation of large wildlife kept in captivity as a pet, not to wildlife in a state of nature as they are not owned.

  • veterinarians are subject to a Code of Ethics ('Code') which contains the following provisions regarding animals in their care, whether wild or domestic: Code of Ethics of Veterinary Surgeons:

    • "(a) veterinary surgeon shall provide the necessary care to the animal or population of animals in his care and custody and shall at all times demonstrate the highest concern for their safety" [Code 53];

    • "(a) veterinary surgeon shall refuse to perform any operation which could endanger the well-being of the animal or a population of animals or which, in his opinion, entails useless suffering" [Code 54];

    • "(a) veterinary surgeon may not lend or use an animal in his care and custody for purposes other than those for which the animal was entrusted to him. Except in exceptional circumstances, the veterinary surgeon shall obtain a client’s consent before relinquishing an animal entrusted to him by the client." [Code 55];

    • "(a) veterinary surgeon shall report to the competent authorities when he ascertains that an animal or a population of animals has been the victim of mistreatment" [Code 56].



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