Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of citizens of the Peterborough area who are concerned about the rights of animals.
They say the purpose of this petition is to take animals out of the realm of property and provide them with a bill of rights giving them rights to law and order, good government, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The petitioners point out that there is mounting evidence between animal abuse and domestic violence and violence against people in general. Essentially the Criminal Code regards animals as property and offences against them as little more than property offences.
In contrast to other countries, Canadian laws in this area have remained largely unchanged since 1892. Therefore these petitioners call on parliament to work toward swift and effective action to modernize Canada's laws dealing with crimes against animals and that the penalties for such actions be made strict enough to act as a deterrent against such behaviour.