`Some Strange Things Happening in our Country’: Opposing Proposed Changes in Anti-Cruelty Laws in Canada

Abstract:

“Ideologies are most efficient when they operate invisibly to naturalize power relations, yet even the most successful hegemonies are not seamless. Contradictions in our attitudes towards animals are exposed by welfare measures such as anti-cruelty laws. This article examines opposition to proposed amendments to Canada’s anti-cruelty legislation. Directed at individual acts of violence, anti-cruelty amendments proposed in Bill C-15B posed no challenge to animal exploitation industries and consisted of only moderately increased penalties for deliberately sadistic actions in non-institutional settings. The amendments were not motivated by ideas from an animal-rights perspective and constituted no fundamental change. Nevertheless, industrial users of animals presented even modest reforms as a direct threat to their interests. This article examines discursive strategies of those who profit from institutionalized abuse and killing of animals and shows that they deliberately exaggerated the amendments’ effects and vilified those with genuine and reasonable concerns for the welfare of animals as `radicals’, `extremists’ and `terrorists’.”

The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Social Legal Studies, 12:3, 2003 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. ©. Thank you very much in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

Source: Secondary Sources

Jurisdiction:

Topics: Bill C-15Bcriminalcrueltyexploitation

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