(BC SPCA)

An updated federal bill that bans all acts of bestiality and animal fighting has just been passed by the Canadian government on Wednesdsay.

The new act, Bill C-84, has tightened and updated laws surrounding animal sexual abuse and animal fighting by broadening the definitions of what constitutes these two crimes.

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Previously, bestiality only referred to sexual acts with an animal that invovled penetration.

Now, any contact for a sexual purpose with an animal is considered illegal and anyone who is convicted of such wrongdoing will be added to Canada’s National Sex Offenders Registry and be banned from owning animals.

“The most shocking evidence we heard involves the link between child abuse and bestiality,” said Canadian Senator Nicole Eaton during the bill’s third and final reading.

“Data gathered by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection found that more than 80 per cent of the cases of bestiality examined also involved sexual abuse of one or more children.”

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Meanwhile, Bill C-84 has also expanded on laws surrounding animal fighting across the country.

Before the bill was passed, individuals could only be charged for attending a fight in person.

Now, it is considered an offence to support animal fighting in anyway, including building or maintaining an arena for the purpose of animal fighting, and partaking in anything that “encourages, aids, promotes, arranges, assists at, receives money for or takes part in the fighting or baiting of animals or birds.”

“Bill C-84 aims to protect children and animals from cruelty and abuse, while ensuring the law does not interfere with legitimate and traditional farming, hunting and trapping practices, including Indigenous harvesting rights,” said Canadian Senator Vernon White during the third reading.

This month, Canada has also introduced several other animal welfare laws, including banning shark fin imports and making it illegal to keep whales and dolphins in captivity.

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