Friday, April 22, 2016

Misinformation on Canadian Hunting Laws

Here we go again incomplete accounting of a bill before parliament has once again been completely blown out of proportion.  This time, we see an article in the Merrit Herald proclaiming that hunting could be outlawed in Canada.

For it's first point, the article claims that bill c-426 is "so crudely worded that, if passed, could in effect turn any hunter and angler into a criminal."  Now, of course wanting to verify that, I looked up the bill.  To my surprise, the bill aims to amend the Species at Risk Act and has only one clause referring to funding.  It has absolutely nothing to do with hunting.  Given that this bill number is very close to the articles next point, I'll be willing to chalk this up to a typo.

In  it's second point, bill c-246 is put under scrutiny, albeit with incomplete references by the author...I'll explain by posting the contents of the part of the article we're talking about:

Bill C-246, put forward by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, goes far beyond what normal animal protection laws are about. Essentially the bill would consider it a criminal offence to “willfully cause the death of an animal.”
This is problematic legally for hunters and anglers who obviously do “wilfully” kill an animal to take it home and eat it.
There is yet another problem in the 200 page bill that shows up way down in the wording at section 182.1: The word “recklessly” is added to the word “willfully.” This seemingly insignificant additional word means that a hunter shooting at an animal could theoretically be charged with “recklessly” killing an animal as well as “willfully.” It leaves it up to peoples “opinion” to define what “willful” and “reckless” killing is when they call authorities to report such cases…and then leaves it up to the judge to interpret what “willful” and “reckless” killing of an animal consists of.

Now, let's compare that to the ACTUAL text of the bill:

182.‍1(1) Everyone commits an offence who, wilfully or recklessly,

(a) causes or, being the owner, permits to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal;

(b) kills an animal or, being the owner, permits an animal to be killed, brutally or viciously, regardless of whether the animal dies immediately;

(c) kills an animal without lawful excuse;
 As we can see, the proposed law would in fact make a hunter a criminal if they were to WILLFULLY OR RECKLESSLY KILL AN ANIMAL BRUTALLY OR VICIOUSLY.  
Now, I don't know about anyone else, but when I hunt or fish, my goal is to kill the animal as quickly and humanely as possible.  If there are hunters out there that willfully or recklessly kill an animal in a brutal or vicious way, then by all means, prosecute those people to the fullest extent of the law and every hunter or angler I know has the very same moral obligation to wildlife.
The bottom line here is that people need to examine claims such as this for themselves before forwarding such disinformation to the public.  I invite you to do so yourself...

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