For the first time in Canada, a fur farmer has been charged with numerous counts of animal cruelty and neglect.
Though the Quebec provincial government refused to act, the Montreal SPCA has charged the owner of the infamous Montérégie fur farm with six counts of animal cruelty and neglect in relation to the approximately 90 foxes, 10,000 mink and two dogs at the property.
The tale of horror began in May 2014, when acting on a tip, the Montreal SPCA visited the farm accompanied by veterinarians. Several foxes were immediately euthanized to end their suffering. Two dogs were also seized at that time.
“Given its limited powers to intervene on behalf of the remaining animals under the Criminal Code, the Montreal SPCA was forced to subsequently transfer the file to the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec (MFFP), hoping that the ministry would use its unique provincial law enforcement powers to remove the animals from the facility,” notes a Montreal SPCA press release. “However, despite repeated efforts to convince MFFP authorities to do so, the ministry remained adamant in its decision not seize the animals and to work ‘in collaboration’ with the fur farmer.”
The accused in the case, Jean-Luc Rodier, could face up to 18 months in prison, $10,000 fines for each count and a lifetime prohibition on having control or custody of an animal. According to the Montreal SPCA Rodier has a previous cruelty-related conviction from 1996 related to breeding dogs.
It was exposure to this investigation that originally led the Montreal SPCA to join us in our #MakeFurHistory campaign. And it should also stand out as another reason for the federal government to step in and bring about an end to this horrific industry.
The fur industry has repeatedly stated that they are capable of managing themselves with their code of practice – the voluntary set of ideas that has no enforcement capabilities and is not legally binding. This farm – where a man who has a history of animal cruelty and is now facing more animal cruelty charges – was allowed to operate without review, without inspection and without fear of enforcement from the fur industry. It was only the dogged efforts of the Montreal SPCA’s investigators, veterinarians and legal team that made these charges happen.
Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur/Montreal SPCA