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    Ongoing public interest litigation

    Communauté Droit animalier Québec - DAQ v. Festival Western de St-Tite inc.

    Protection of calves and steers used in rodeos

    The case

    Since 2015, Quebec law recognizes that animals are sentient beings that have biological needs. The Animal Welfare and Safety Act (AWSA) prohibits that animal’s welfare and safety be compromised.

    The preamble of the AWSA recognizes that “the human species has an individual and collective responsibility to ensure animal welfare and safety”.

    It specifically provides that the owner and custodian of an animal must ensure that the animal is not subjected to abuse or mistreatment that may affect its health. The AWSA also prohibits anyone from causing an animal to be in distress, including causing the animal extreme anxiety or suffering.

    Summary of the Lawsuit

    On May 19, 2022, the Communauté Droit animalier Québec (DAQ), represented by Trudel Johnston & Lespérance, filed an application for an injunction to prohibit tie-down roping of calves and steer wrestling in the Festival Western de St-Tite rodeos.

    According to the veterinary expert mandated by DAQ, Dr. Geoffroy Autenne, the calves and steers involved in these activities are systematically exposed to acute pain. He observes that the activities cause calves and steers significant tissue damage in the cervical region, eye damage and respiratory distress. The treatment to which they are subjected violates the legal protection now granted to them by the Quebec legislator.

    We are proud to represent DAQ to enforce these new legal provisions.