I’ve described it as animal racism. It is better described as speciesism. In Montréal, Canada, there is a curfew which applies to all of Québec. Dog owners can take their dogs outside on a lead after 8 p.m. but cat owners can’t. To be clear, if you live in Montréal you can’t take your cat out on a lead after 8 p.m. until 5 a.m.. This is because of the curfew which is designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Peter Strouzas lives with a beautiful white cat, Snow, and he likes to take him out in the evening on a leash so he can do his business – poop/pee. He’s done this for almost 8 years. Sometimes they go out that 2 o’clock in the morning. Quite rightly, he is saying that it is unfair because there is no difference between taking a cat outside on a leash and a dog outside on a leash. It’s quite unusual to see a cat on a leash but it is no different to a dog.
When he made enquiries about the curfew he received conflicting information. His veterinarian told him that it was okay to take Snow out during the curfew period. However, the Québec Ministry of Health spokesperson, Noemie Vanheuverzwijn, told him that Snow must stay indoors at night within the curfew times with all other animals that are not dogs.
The curfew is aimed at dogs only, she said. People can take their cats out for a walk at times outside of curfew hours. If Mr Strouzas breaks the law he risks a C$1,500 fine.
Comment: it’s an interesting development and I would argue another example of confusion by legislators in various countries who are struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic and control its spread. It does throw up some peculiarities and discrepancies. In the UK there is a huge amount of confusion about the rules. And the police are asked to use their discretion which is bound to lead to mistakes being made. But this is the first time that I’ve seen coronavirus legislation which is distinctly tainted by speciesism or, as I’ve described it: animal racism.
P.S. In an amusing development a married couple were fined C$1,546 each when they went outside during the curfew with the wife walking her husband on a leash! 🙂
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