Prominent Quebecers call for change in legal status for animals


A group of 30 Quebec personalities have put their names on a manifesto demanding a change to Quebec's Civil Code, calling for a reconsideration of animals' legal status.

The group is diverse — it includes well-known animal rights advocates like former Hab Georges Laraque and local SPCA director Alanna Devine, media personalities like Julie Snyder and radio host Gilles Proulx, lawyer Anne-France Goldwater, as well as musicians, actors, bloggers and academics.

The statement is calling on Quebec to change the legal status of an animal to account for the fact that animals can feel pleasure and pain — distinct from inanimate objects, which they're currently equal to under the Code.

"Like most people, we believe that animals are not toasters. This view, however, is not shared by our Civil Code," the statement begins. "Quebec law thus assimilates the act of hurting or abusing an animal to the destruction of property. Not only is this concept morally questionable, but it also clashes with how the majority of Quebec citizens think."

They're also asking members of the public to sign it online at

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  1. ric posted on 01/22/2014 02:53 PM
    IT'S ABOUT TIME. We should all sign a petition to make abusing/killing any animal a very serious crime. They are not inanimate objects. They are living, breathing and feeling, not unlike us. Look at the puppy mills, almost nothing happens to the owners, therefore they exist and will continue to do so.
  2. Sic posted on 01/23/2014 07:48 AM
    I am all for animal rights and I am an animal lover . Funny though how these separatists speak up more for animals than they do for the right for people to wear their religious garbs.
  3. Kim Elrassi posted on 01/23/2014 07:48 PM
    This has been going on for more then 25 yrs, trying to get legislation, these people should be jailed for this, greed, making money on animals is wrong, living in dirt and thilthy conditions all crammed together outside in the cold or heat in small cages, those that are strong will survive, selling them over the internet, meeting people in parking lots to sell them from their van, makes me SICK. These are helpless animals and are not to be treated like this, wake up Quebec. PLEASE SIGH AND PASS ON EVERYONE HELP IF YOU CARE.
  4. Elaine posted on 01/24/2014 09:03 AM
    Can non-Canadians sign the petition?
  5. Griff posted on 01/24/2014 05:23 PM
    Dogs are cats are "family". Attack my dog or attack one of my kids… to me they are both the same. Someone who injures a dog or cat should receive the same punishment as if they hurt a human being.
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