Oppose Deadly Clause in new Proposed NWT Dog Act

"Best Place to be an Animal Abuser":  a dubious distinction given to the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in May 2009 and once again in 2010.

During the month of January four Public Hearings are to be held concerning the Amended Dog Act which was brought before the Legislative Assembly on November 1, 2010.  These Public Hearings are being conducted in order to allow residents to submit their own views, thoughts and comments to the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure chaired by MLA David Ramsay.  Mr. Ramsay has been and continues to be a vocal supporter for improved animal protection within the NWT.
The main point of contention contained in the amended Dog Act is the very deadly loophole: "make exceptions for locally accepted or traditional practices"
We the Undersigned

Oppose the Deadly Clause contained in the Proposed New Northwest Territory Dog Act brought before the Legislative Assembly November 1, 2010 and which is expected to be made law 120 days from date of first reading.

As evidenced in so many media and news accounts already published reporting on cases of horrific animal cruelty; "locally accepted or traditional practices" have already been the sole contributor to the vast number of dogs who have suffered at the hands of not only irresponsible owners but also at the hands of those who perhaps, dare it be said, enjoy inflicting pain on these animals as well as using them to possibly manipulate family members.  There is a direct Link between Animal Cruelty and Domestic and Human Violence.

Tolerated "locally accepted or traditional practices" as seen within the NWT are not acceptable nor tolerable under the Federal Criminal Code of Canada, which applies to everyone, everywhere in Canada.

This Gaping and deadly loophole %u201Cmake exceptions for locally accepted or traditional practices" contained within the Amended Dog will perpetuate continued unabated animal cruelty and must be deleted  entirely.  Failure to delete this clause will mean the condoning of and the continuing tolerance and acceptance of any and all unacceptable excuses argued by those who will continue to neglect, starve and to quote one GNWT Minister  %u201Cintentionally harm an animal%u201D, be it by an Act of Omission which is Passive Cruelty or by an Act of Commission which is Active Cruelty. Both are indictable offenses under the Federal Criminal Code of Canada.

Deleting the unacceptable clause contained within the new Dog Act   will ensure that dogs will indeed have the protection needed and that animal cruelty offenders will no longer be allowed to get away with animal cruelty with out consequence for their action, and that these offenders will be held accountable and face the applicable charges both under the properly Amended Dog Act and the Federal Criminal Code of Canada.

We urge the Territorial Government and yourself as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure to take proactive measures to ensure that this deadly clause is removed from the New Proposed Northwest Territory Dog Act in its entirety prior to the new act being made law.

With all due respect,
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