mallard duck with her ducklingsAugust 6, 2009, VANCOUVER – The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is hoping that a $1,000 reward being offered through their Victims of Cruelty Program will help to bring to justice the three men responsible for indiscriminately shooting and killing ducks on a pond somewhere in either southwestern Saskatchewan or southeastern Alberta. The reward is for information resulting in the conviction of those responsible for killing these birds. “The men who needlessly killed these birds need to be brought to justice and punished to the fullest extent of the law,” according to Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. “It is illegal in Canada to hunt young flightless birds and illegal to hunt from a car.”

The Humane Society of Canada’s Chairman & CEO has harsh words for the three, calling them “brutal subhuman cowards”. “It is no wonder that public reaction to the tape has been one of horror and outrage, most Canadians are nature lovers. Government surveys have repeatedly found that more than 95% of Canadians support the protection and not the killing of wildlife, and that less than 5% of Canadians are involved in the recreational killing of wildlife. One third of Canadian households also feeds and watches wildlife,” he added.

Besides the sheer cruelty of the act, The Humane Society of Canada believes that society should be concerned because there is a correlation between animal cruelty and violence against people.

Anyone with information pertaining to the slaughter of these ducks is asked to contact the Alberta Sustainable Resources’ Report-a-Poacher tip line at 1-800-642-3800, the Saskatchewan Ministry of the Environment tip line at 1-800-667-7561 or The Humane Society of Canada at 1-800-641-KIND (5463).

The HSC Chairman & CEO Michael O’Sullivan says that it is these types of crimes involving animals that were responsible for The Humane Society of Canada creating the Victims of Cruelty program.

The person or persons involved can be charged under the province’s Wildlife Act and the Criminal Code of Canada. Penalties include fines, jail terms, seizure of equipment, firearms and hunting prohibitions, and an order prohibiting a convicted offender of working or owning animals, and a criminal record means they will have difficulty travelling to other countries. In the past, rewards offered by The Humane Society of Canada have led to breaks in cases involving cruelty to animals and the organization hopes that it can encourage people to come forward with information.

The Humane Society of Canada will be asking the court to bar any of those found guilty from owning or working with animals, and will also ask the court to force them to surrender all firearms, and ban them from owning firearms, for as long as the law will allow. The vehicle used in the commission of this criminal offence could also be forfeit, and if two people or more planned the duck killing, they can also be charged with criminal conspiracy.

“Cruelty to animals is a criminal offence,” says O’Sullivan. “Recent changes to the Canadian Criminal Code mean that offenders face maximum penalties of up to 5 years in prison for indictable offences and for summary convictions - fines of up to $10,000 and up to eighteen months in jail. In addition to the criminal record and fines, the person convicted can also be prohibited from owning, having the custody or control of or residing in the same premises as an animal or a bird for any period that the court considers appropriate but, in the case of a second or subsequent offence, for a minimum of five years. Damages may be awarded by the court to the person or organization that had to pay for the care of the animal as a result of the offence.”

Anyone who would like to donate to The Humane Society of Canada’s Victims of Cruelty Reward Program to help solve crimes against animals and nature can contact the organization at 1-800-641-5463 or through their website at www.humanesociety.com.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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