Brown v British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1999 CanLII 5502 (BCSC)

Motion by the Plaintiff for the return of her horses that were seized by the BC SPCA. The SPCA sought to keep the horses, pending the result of animal cruelty charges laid under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The SPCA seized nine horses belonging to the plaintiff on the grounds that they were in distress under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The horses were in such poor health that two of them died shortly after being seized. The SPCA arranged veterinary and other care for the surviving horses. The plaintiff sought the return of the horses from the SPCA and damages, claiming that the horses were wrongfully seized. Furthermore, the plaintiff argued that the SPCA only has the authority to keep animals that are in distress.

The Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s motion and held that the animals were to remain in the custody of the SPCA, as this was the best course of action for the animals. To order the return of the animals, the Court held that it must be satisfied that, if the animals are returned, they will remain in good condition. The SPCA had adequately shown that the horses should remain in their custody pending the outcome of the trial.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: British Columbia

Topics: accessBC SPCAbreederBritish Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animalscostscustodydistressfinancial losshorsesinadequate nutritionmarepregnantremain in good conditionRights of ownersseizure

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