A husband and wife were convicted of Animal Protection Act (APA) offences due to egregious neglect of approximately 100 animals (ranging from infants to adults) on their rural property, including cattle, horses, donkeys, and llamas. Crown sought a 60 to 90-day jail sentence. Defence sought a fine no higher than $1600.

Held: $8500 and $6500 fine plus s 12 APA ban on animal ownership.

The sentencing judge considered whether jail was available under s 12 APA in light of POPA and found it was not. In determining the quantum of fines that were fit and appropriate, the sentencing judge held, “[t]he fundamental purpose of sentencing is to protect ‘society’…[t]he new paradigm referenced by the court in Reece [2011 ABCA 238] contemplates a society made up of both human beings and animals. The sentence imposed in this case must have, as its fundamental purpose, the protection of animals.” Fit sentence was $8500 fine for husband and $6500 fine for wife, plus a s 12 APA order that they not possess any animals for the rest of their lives, with an exception for joint possession of one dog.

R. Clark – Defence Counsel