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Manitoba's laws best protect animals: U.S. group

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Put your paws up for Manitoba – the province’s laws for defending animals have been ranked the best in the country.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), whose headquarters are based in California, annually examines and compares the animal protection laws in each province and territory in Canada, ranking them according to which laws best protect animals.

Manitoba took the lead spot as a result of a number of strengths in existing animal protection laws, among them:

  • that penalties for animal abuse in the province may include both fines and jail time,
  • that psychological harm is recognized as abuse the same way physical harm is recognized as abuse, and
  • that veterinarians are required to report cases of suspected animal cruelty.

In the 2012 report, British Columbia runs a close second to Manitoba. B.C.'s second-place spot was secured by stiff penalties for animal abuse that have been enacted in the past year, including the possibility of a $75,000 fine and up to two years in jail for an abuser.

Quebec and Nunavut were ranked the best places for animal abusers to live, since laws for defending animals there are considered weak by the ALDF. Raising the standards for basic care for animals and adding penalties that include both incarceration and fines are among the improvements the ALDF suggested those provinces make.

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