The Animal Welfare Community Mourns the Loss of Jack Layton

Today the animal welfare and conservation movements lost a great ally with the untimely death of Jack Layton. Jack is known for his dedication to social justice and for fighting for those in our society that are marginalized and voiceless, and he was a voice for animals as well.

Jack Layton. Source: NDP.ca

Today the animal welfare and conservation movements lost a great ally with the untimely death of Jack Layton.

Jack is known for his dedication to social justice and for fighting for those in our society that are marginalized and voiceless, and he was a voice for animals as well. He was courageous and unwavering in his dedication to protecting our environment and the animals we share it with.

In a letter during the last federal election, Jack said,” The abuse of any vulnerable creature, human or otherwise,  is something that we should all take extremely seriously.”

Under his leadership, the New Democratic Party of  Canada (NDP) was supportive of strengthening Canada’s animal cruelty laws, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare worked with Jack and his party to oppose Bill S-203 which ultimately passed but was, we all agreed, deeply flawed.

The NDP went on record saying they wanted to move animals out of the property section of the Criminal Code and to also extend protection to wild animals and stray animals. They also advocated to make it illegal to train animals for fighting and fought to close the loopholes in the existing legislation.

Although he is gone, Jack Layton leaves a legacy of kindness and compassion for animals, one that will live on through all of those who are working tirelessly to protect them. Jack, you were -- and are -- an inspiration to us all.

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Michelle Cliffe
Communications Officer, Canada

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