International Legal Precedents

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2004:


Justice Richard C. Gates of Ontario Superior Court on
September 7, 2004 struck down a 2002 city of Windsor bylaw barring
exotic animal acts, on grounds that it violates circus performers’
right to freedom of expression, as defined by the Canadian Charter
of Rights & Freedoms. While the bylaw was written as a public
safety measure, Gates explained, and as such could have overridden
the relevant degree of concern for freedom of expression, “because
it was passed for the ulterior purpose of animal welfare, the
Respondent City failed to provide at least a reasonable degree of
evidence to causally link exotic animal performances to public
safety. There was insufficient examination of any evidence to
rationally support the secondary purpose of protection of the
public.” Issued on behalf of the Shriners Circuses, the Ontario
ruling may be cited as a precedent in an anticipated follow-up
lawsuit against animal act bans passed in 1999 by the Town of Mount
Royal and Ville St. Laurent, then independent cities and now
boroughs of Montreal.

The Zamoskyvoretskiy Regional Court of Justice in Moscow,
Russia on September 15, 2004 sentenced veterinarian Alexander Duka
to serve a year on probation for illegal possession of the anesthetic
drug ketamine. Duka was among 20 Moscow-area veterinarians who were
charged with possession of ketamine in a 2003 series of sting
operations. Konstantin Sadovedov, the first to go to trial, was on
May 18 acquitted by the Kuzminsky Regional Court of Justice.
Ketamine, the most widely used veterinary anesthetic, was banned in
Russia in 1998 after becoming notorious through illegal use as a
“date rape” drug. The ketamine ban was lifted in January 2004 for
licensed veterinary users, but the licensing procedure has not been
established, and veterinarians who use ketamine continue to be
prosecuted, according to the Moscow animal rights group VITA.

Israeli Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinish on September 19,
2004 rejected an appeal by Concern for Helping Animals in Israel of a
June 3 ruling by retired Justice Dalia Dorner that “The killing of
street cats…must be the last step, taken only when the public
cannot be protected by other reasonable means.” The case began in
2000, when the no-kill organizations Let The Animals Live and Cat
Welfare Society of Israel tried to prosecute veterinary technician
Na’ama Adler-Blu and her husband Eyal Blu for killing feral cats
under contract with the Agriculture Ministry Veterinary Service. The
Tel Aviv SPCA was also a defendant. Na’ama Adler-Blu, backed by
CHAI, counter-sued the plaintiffs for libel. CHAI founder Nina
Natelson argues that neuter/return of feral cats is not appropriate
in Israel, and that lethal injection as done by Adler-Blu is
preferable to poisoning with strychnine, ostensibly now illegal but
still reportedly practiced. Natelson on September 28 told ANIMAL
PEOPLE that the Tel Aviv SPCA and Adler-Blu still have the
opportunity to restructure and refile their case, and expect to do

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.