moved for leave to introduce Bill C-610, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (cruelty to animals).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and introduce this legislation, which amends the Criminal Code's provisions on animal cruelty. In particular, it creates a new offence of inadequate and negligent care of animals. The bill establishes an offence for anyone who negligently causes unnecessary pain, suffering, or injury to an animal or bird, or, being the owner, wilfully or recklessly abandons it or fails to provide suitable and adequate food, water, air, shelter, and care for it. It also punishes those who negligently injure an animal or bird while it is being conveyed.
As hon. members know, Canada's animal cruelty laws are woefully out of date. They have not been updated since the 1890s. In my view, this bill represents an important step toward modernizing the law, although I realize more will be done.
Given the order of precedence, I realize this bill may not see debate before I leave Parliament. I would thus invite the government to consider adopting this legislation as its own and to introduce long-overdue animal cruelty reforms so that Canada's laws respect and protect animals against actions that show disregard or contempt for their security and well-being.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)