/Controversial animal protection bill unlikely to become law

Controversial animal protection bill unlikely to become law

By Chad Ingram

A private member’s bill from a Toronto MP ruffling the feathers of some hunters and fishermen is unlikely to ever become law.

Bill C-246 tabled by Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith is an animal protection bill that would amend various pieces of legislation as well as the criminal code.

The bill received second reading in the House of Commons March 3. Some of its main goals include banning the importation of shark fins as well as the sale of cat and dog fur in Canada.

Some vague language in the bill has caused concern among some hunters and fisherman particularly the following clause: “Everyone commits an offence who willfully and recklessly kills an animal or being the owner permits and an animal to be killed brutally or viciously regardless of whether the animal dies immediately.”

Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Jamie Schmale told the paper he’d heard from constituents who are rightfully concerned about language in thebill.

“As that stands that can include fishing hunting and even farming” Schmale said.

However in order to become law following its second reading the bill would have to be called to committee. There it would be rigorously studied by MPs who would make recommendations for changes to the bill. It would then return to the House of Commons for third reading and if passed would then receive Royal Assent and become law.

Very few private member’s bills ever become law most never making it past second reading.

Only about 1.5 per cent of private member’s bills tabled in the House of Commons become law.

“Similar bills have been introduced and never gone anywhere” Schmale said adding that if the bill did proceed though the process he would fight for changes.