Mr. Draney owned, kept or cared for a number of horses who were found malnourished. Mr. Draney was charged with two counts of animal cruelty under the Criminal Code:
Count 1: did wilfully cause, or, being the owner, did wilfully permit to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or a bird, to wit: horses, contrary to Section 445.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.
Count 2: did, being the owner or the person having custody or control of domestic animals, to wit: horses, abandon them in distress or wilfully neglect or fail to provide suitable and adequate food, water, shelter and care for them, contrary to Section 446(1)(b) of the Criminal Code.
For the first charge, the Court found that Mr. Draney’s ‘ownership’ of the horses, even with ‘owner’ being broadly construed, had not been established, and thus dismissed the first charge.
For the second charge, the Court found that Mr. Draney’s ‘custody and control’ of the horses had been established and that the only reasonable explanation for their continued distress was Mr. Draney’s neglect or failure to provide suitable or adequate food, water, shelter and care for them. The Court also found that Mr. Draney was either reckless or wilfully blind to his neglect or failure to provide suitable and adequate food, water, shelter and care to the animals as his attention had been brought to these matters on multiple occasions. The Court also rejected the notion that not being able to afford care or preferring not to is not a defence to failure to provide.
Mr. Draney was given a conditional sentence order of 60 days. Furthermore, he was prohibited from owning, having the custody or control of, or residing on the same premises as an animal or bird for 3 years as per s. 447.1(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.
Source: Case Law
Jurisdiction: British Columbia