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Animal legislation 'based on prejudice'

January 25, 2013 · Updated 9:19 AM
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Dear editor,

I would like to commend Erin Haluschak for her well-done article, " 'Solomon-like decision' declares one dog dangerous" (Record, Jan. 18).

There are thousands of people worldwide following this story of Chum and Champ, the two ill-fated Newfie dogs, victims of the 'dangerous' dog act which enables officials to seize and kill dogs who harm a 'domestic' animal — extrapolating that once a dog harms another animal then there is a probability that the dog will move on to humans.

This act is based on prejudice and ignorance of dogs and dog behaviour. Prejudice, as we've seen over centuries, justifies cruelty.

The thousands of us Chum and Champ supporters have been immersed in grief over the cruelty that has designated Chum as a 'dangerous' dog, abandoned her in an SPCA cell while her lifelong mate (whom she has never ever been away from before) was taken home.

She has already logged in over 9 months of incarceration, along with Champ, as the legal machinations have eked out over a year. She and Champ are both suffering from physical ailments incurred from their lengthy incarceration and its attendant stress.

They have no understanding of why they are being punished.

Because there is no actual evidence against either dog, the judge made his own assessments. In bewildering leaps, the judge accepted the dog behaviourist's assessment that Champ is the most passive — or non-aggressive — dog he has ever encountered, but he chose not to accept the assessment of Chum as not a threat to people or community even though she would assert herself if provoked by a dog.

It seems the judge decided that anything other than total passivity is a threat to people and community. (Realize here that the regional district's prosecution of these two dogs sought the death penalty for both of them.)

Perhaps the dogs' owner, Jacques Manseau, is correct in his assessment that the judge was trying to make both parties happy — one dog goes home free and the other is sacrificed to make the regional district happy, believing it is keeping the community safe.

If only the regional district would realize that the suffering inflicted on these dogs and their family has gone out in waves around the world.

Pat Newson,

Comox

 

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