This week, the Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, unveiled some of the toughest anti-animal cruelty laws in North America. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, a response to the slaughter of a hundred sled dogs in Whistler last year, has increased maximum punishments for animal cruelty from $10,000 and six months in prison to $75,000 and two years in prison. As Premier Clark put it:
The thing is that people will do bad things. That certainly happens not just to animals, but to other people, to property. But what we can do as a government and as a society is to try to put in place deterrents that are strong and will be enforced. (Source)
The move toward stricter animal abuse laws in British Columbia will set an important precedent and serve as an example to other animal advocates who are trying to achieve the same thing elsewhere. There's a movement afoot across North America to crack down on animal abusers. Efforts are already underway in Ohio, Illinois, Rhode Island, Mississippi, New Jersey and across Canada. What happened in British Columbia was only the beginning. There are ample reasons to be optimistic.