05 Mar
2018

Canada needs a law that prevents pets from becoming the family dinner

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The case of Molly the pot-bellied pig perfectly illustrates what is wrong with our animal protection laws, writes Thomas Walkom.

Should people be allowed to eat their pets? It’s a question that has come to the fore after the Vancouver Island owners of a pot-bellied pig named Molly recently butchered and ate her.

It’s also a question that raises the issue of animal rights in general, pet ownership in particular and whether pets should be accorded special legal status.

The story of Molly is short and sad. She was one of 57 pet pot-bellied pigs rescued in 2017 by local officers of British Columbia’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

According to the Cowichan Valley Citizen, their owner was no longer able to care for them.

Molly was nursed back to health and eventually put up for adoption. The couple who adopted her in January promised to care for her. Specifically, they promised not to slaughter her.

Within a month they had changed their minds on both counts. They explained they did so because Molly didn’t get along with the family dog.

There was an immediate outcry following Molly’s death. The SPCA came under attack. The couple who had slaughtered her reported receiving death threats.

But according to Camille Labchuk of the advocacy group Animal Justice, what happened to Molly was perfectly legal in Canada.