Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.C.Sc.

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Fitzgerald, Amy (Sociology and Anthropology)

Keywords

Criminology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

In 1998 the federal government launched a consultation process which pointed out that nothing significant had been done to change federal anti-cruelty laws in Canada since 1892. The consultation process concluded that among other concerns, outdated wording of the law has prevented the prosecution of many serious animal abusers. Since 1999 there have been a number of failed amendments to the Criminal Code anti-cruelty provisions. This study examines the trajectory of the proposed changes since 1999 to the present, using official transcripts of Canadian parliamentary debates, and seeks to understand the politics of animal cruelty legislation in Canada. Using thematic analysis, this paper explores how resistance to the amendments is articulated and rationalized, as well as the grounds upon which proponents argue in favour of amending the anti-cruelty provisions. The study ultimately sheds light on the failure to bring 19th century Canadian criminal laws into the 21st century.

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