Monday , 11 December 2017

Canada Seeks to Neuter Animal Charities

Provided by Zoe- It’s our Nature

Zoe Staff Report

New restrictions on animal protection charities in Canada would prevent them from speaking out against factory farming, puppy mills, hunting, the slaughter of baby seals, vivisection and cruel sports.

The new regulations, put forward by the Canada Revenue Agency, state that:

“Under common law, an activity or purpose is only charitable when it provides a benefit to humans.”

Therefore:

“If a purpose or activity that promotes the welfare of animals harms humans, or has a real potential to cause significant harm to humans, it is likely not charitable … Some activities may promote the welfare of animals but also cause, or have the potential to cause, harm to humans. The harm could take many forms, including physical or economic harm, or direct or indirect harm.”

Specifically, according to the new policy, “seeking to abolish vivisection is not charitable.” Nor is seeking to stop cruel practices at factory farms or, indeed, any other activities that could cause economic harm to humans.

Overall, there’s very little outside of caring for animals at shelters that would still be considered charitable.

Here are some excerpts from the document that lays out these policies:

2. Under common law, an activity or purpose is only charitable when it provides a benefit to humans.

3. To be charitable, the benefit to humans must always take precedence over any benefit to animals. If a purpose or activity that promotes the welfare of animals harms humans, or has a real potential to cause significant harm to humans, it is likely not charitable.

23. Promoting the welfare of animals is only charitable when it results in a benefit to humans. Purposes that benefit animals, but not humans, are not charitable.

28. Some activities may promote the welfare of animals but also cause, or have the potential to cause, harm to humans. The harm could take many forms, including physical or economic harm, or direct or indirect harm.

29. Any benefit or potential benefit to the welfare of animals must be balanced against any harm or potential harm to humans when deciding whether an organization or activity that promotes the welfare of animals is charitable. The public benefit resulting from promoting the welfare of animals must clearly outweigh any harm or potential harm to humans.

30. For example, the courts have decided that seeking to abolish vivisection is not charitable.

31. In short, when weighing benefits to animals against benefits to humans, “the life and happiness of human beings must be preferred to that of animals.”

42. When advancing education, the charity cannot simply promote a particular point of view. If an organization tries to influence public opinion or actions on a controversial issue, it is not advancing education in the charitable sense.

43. For example, a charity might offer courses in how to minimize harm to local wildlife and ecosystems that tend to result from human activity. However, if the charity were to try to convince people that certain legal hunting practices were morally wrong and should be abolished, it would not be advancing education in the charitable sense.

The proposed regulations are published here, and Canadians have the opportunity to comment on them until March 31st.

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6 comments

  1. Don’t let this happen!
    Where are we going with that?!

  2. Animals matter, they were not put on this planet to be used by humans for cruel entertainment! They do not deserve to suffer! They are part of your country and they matter!

  3. If charities can’t speak up for what they believe in, what’s the point? Where is our freedom of speech?! After cutting funds to women’s groups, let’s stop charities from being too loud and oh so disturbing…Lovely, just lovely!

  4. As always, it has to do with money not the welfare of animals. To the government, the word ANIMAL is all it counts. So what if they suffer, if money can be made through them, SO WHAT. We are in 2011 and governments hearts have turned into ROCK. I am sick to my stomach
    from constantly hearing and seeing all the atrocities towards animals. Well it’s not going to get better it seems and we call ourselves, “HUMANS” what a joke.

  5. I think there is some confusion about this, as I am now confused after reading this, which appears to be a response from the CRA:

    “…The proposed guidance does not represent a change in law. Rather, it explains the long-standing requirements applicable to organizations that promote the welfare of animals and either wish to become, or already are, registered charities under the Income Tax Act.”

    This is so confusing, perhaps a deadline extension is needed, or else we need some input from those organizations who will be affected. This is may be about explaining existing laws, not creating new ones. If so, then we need a separate campaign to address changing these laws.

    “March 10, 2011
    We appreciate the comments provided to date and are grateful to everyone who participated and made suggestions for improvement. Your feedback is an important part of developing guidance.

    We have noted that some of the comments indicate that there is some misunderstanding about how the guidance applies to non-profit organizations. The guidance applies only to organizations that are registered as charities under the Income Tax Act, and that can therefore issue official donation receipts for income tax purposes. It does not apply to non-profit organizations. To find out if a particular organization is registered as a charity under the Income Tax Act, search the CRA’s Charities Listings.

    The proposed guidance does not represent a change in law. Rather, it explains the long-standing requirements applicable to organizations that promote the welfare of animals and either wish to become, or already are, registered charities under the Income Tax Act.

    Thank you once again for participating in this consultation process.”

    From comments under this note on Facebook:
    “Draft Letter to the Canada Revenue Agency for your input”

    http://www.facebook.com/AAOAW#!/note.php?note_id=187725867929780

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