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Illegal to Kill Cattle?

I was cruising the Criminal Code of Canada, looking to see what I could find on civil disobedience and if I could lose my spotless police-check record (which I need for my field of work) should I ever feel like being a little stubborn in a protest at some point. I didn’t find what I was looking for, because I got sidetracked by a criminal offence pertaining to cattle.

  • 444. (1) Every one commits an offence who wilfully
    • (a) kills, maims, wounds, poisons or injures cattle; or
    • (b) places poison in such a position that it may easily be consumed by cattle.

And the following offence.

  • 445. (1) Every one commits an offence who, wilfully and without lawful excuse,
    • (a) kills, maims, wounds, poisons or injures dogs, birds or animals that are not cattle and are kept for a lawful purpose; or
    • (b) places poison in such a position that it may easily be consumed by dogs, birds or animals that are not cattle and are kept for a lawful purpose.

According to section 444 of the Criminal Code, it is illegal to kill cattle. There is no mention of any exceptions (such as those found in section 287 regarding the exceptions to the legal restrictions on abortion) and if you’ve ever taken a high school law class, you know how nitty-gritty those legal folks can get with precision of language.

On the topic of language, I would like to note the given definition of cattle.

cattle

« bétail »

“cattle” means neat cattle or an animal of the bovine species by whatever technical or familiar name it is known, and includes any horse, mule, ass, pig, sheep or goat;

Upon finding this, I was surprised to see that the term cattle officially refers to other “farm” animals as well; not exclusively bovines.

So… the Criminal Code states the killing of cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses etc as a criminal offence punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, with no exceptions listed… yet there are no slaughterhouse-busts. Apparently mind altering substances that individuals (consent to) take illegally is worth substantially more police attention than the endless number of lives being taken illegally (and without consent).