Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne Gives Speech Supporting Jane Goodall Bill

During the continuing second reading debates of Bill S-241: Jane Goodall Act, Quebec Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne gave a speech supporting the proposed legislation. She began by emphasizing that “[i]n a world increasingly concerned with animal welfare, keeping wild animals in captivity for human enjoyment is less and less acceptable.” She referred to the closure of a zoo 120 kilometers east of Montreal in which criminal charges were brought against the zoo owner, who pleaded guilty to lesser provincial animal welfare charges. Senator Miville-Dechêne supported the law’s goal in applying the highest standards for zoos and aquariums, but took issue with how the bill would consider facilities accredited by the US-based Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Specifically, she drew attention to the fact that seven AZA-accredited Canadian facilities are named in the bill as eligible animal care organizations and expressed the concern that other zoos and aquaria would face administrative procedures that the seven named zoos would not, thereby creating a two-tier system. In response, Senator Marty Klyne (the bill’s sponsor) denied that the Jane Goodall Act would create a two-tier system. Time for debate ended before the issue could be fully discussed. Watch the video of the speech here (beginning at 16:07:30) and read the speech here.