August 11, 2009, VANCOUVER – The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) is pleased that the three men responsible for the deadly shooting and killing of ducks on a pond in southwestern Saskatchewan have been convicted of breaking the law. The Society had offered a $1,000 reward through their Victims of Cruelty Program for information and directed callers to the provincial tip lines.
It is no wonder that public reaction to the tape was one of disgust and anger. 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 says the animal charity.
Following their arrest, the three men pleaded guilty in a Saskatchewan court. David and James Fraser were each fined $5000 and Jeremy Rowlands was fined $6000. All three had to turn over their video camera and rifles to authorities. In addition to the fines they each received a three year hunting suspension under Saskatchewan's Wildlife Act and a one year suspension under the Migratory Birds Convention regulations. The trio could have faced fines of up to $300,000 and terms of imprisonment of up to 6 months and forfeited their car which was used in the commission of the offence.
The three men said they were sorry for their actions, but the animal charity’s Chairman & CEO Michael O’Sullivan says he’s heard all of the excuses many times before throughout his 40 year career in animal protection: “Anyone who watched the video which they filmed themselves, anyone who listened to their laughter and watched their faces as they blasted away at helpless ducks and ducklings, doesn’t believe a word they say – and we don’t either.”
O’Sullivan says that with the growing use of the internet to display such cruelty, the animal charity has also established a Cybercruelty Program to monitor and investigate such reports. Other examples have included men off the coast of BC who smashed a small shark against the deck of a fishing boat and then hurled the shark overboard in a video posted on YouTube; and so called 'crush videos' showing live animals killed for amusement on tape, and 'point-and-shoot' internet hunting of live animals in Texas (which is now illegal in some but not all US states). The organization has also been involved in following up on internet sites used by wildlife smugglers and traders. The killing of animals in performances and in films has also taken place in Canada.
Besides the sheer cruelty of these acts, The Humane Society of Canada believes that society should be concerned because there is a correlation between animal cruelty and violence against people.
Depending on the nature of the cruelty and where it was committed, upon conviction offenders can face fines, imprisonment, sanctions, forfeiture of property, be prohibited from owning or working with animals, and may receive a criminal record that would make it difficult for them to travel to other countries.
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.
The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.