Federal Bill to End Elephant and Great Ape Captivity Referred to Committee

Bill S-15, sponsored by Senator Marty Klyne, has advanced to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs after completing second reading. During the debate on March 19, Senator Chantal Petitclerc voiced her support for the bill, stressing the importance of updating our laws to reflect current scientific understanding of animal suffering in captivity, and changing societal attitudes towards such practices. Critics of the bill, including Senator Claude Carignan and Senator Donald Neil Plett, Leader of the Opposition, criticized the bill as frivolous, arguing that it diverts attention from pressing national issues, such as economic struggles, crime rates, healthcare, and infrastructure. Plett also raised concerns that the bill's constraints could impede conservation efforts, despite ample evidence suggesting most zoos contribute minimally to conservation endeavours. Despite opposition, Plett supported sending the bill to committee for further study.