- Rick HansonChief, Calgary Police Service
- Chief Crown ProsecutorOffice of the Crown Prosecutor
Animal cruelty isn't "art": charge the Calgary chicken killer
On April 18, a student at the Alberta College of Art and Design used a knife to slit the throat of a live, terrified chicken. He committed this appalling and deeply disturbing act of abuse against a defenceless animal in the middle of a busy cafeteria, while other students looked on in horror.
“He just decided to slowly slit its throat while it's wiggling, wriggling and screaming and then drained it out, popped its head off, strung it up, washed it, plucked it," said one student who witnessed the slaughter. "He drew it out… more or less probably for the shock factor.”
The student claimed that slaughtering the chicken was a piece of performance art that he was completing as part of his coursework. Meanwhile, the school has offered counselling to the traumatized students who witnesseed the incident.
It is a criminal offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal, and eyewitness accounts of the incident clearly show the chicken suffered. Despite this, the police and the Crown prosecutor have refused to lay charges against the man who ruthlessly and unnecessarily killed the chicken, claiming the incident does not meet the threshold for criminal charges.
A police spokesperson made the flippant remark that "Not a lot of thought went into this."
That's not good enough. This wasn't just a thoughtless act; it is full-scale animal cruelty. "Art" is no excuse for harming other creatures. If this student is not charged, others will feel free to kill and abuse animals in a similar way. Only criminal charges will send a strong message that our compassionate society doesn't tolerate disturbing and needless animal suffering.
- Chief, Calgary Police Service
- Office of the Crown Prosecutor
Chief Crown Prosecutor
I was shocked to learn that you have refused to charge the Alberta College of Art and Design student who cruelly and needlessly slaughtered a chicken in a public school cafeteria.
It is a criminal offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal. According to one eyewitness to the ruthless chicken killing, "He just decided to slowly slit its throat while it's wiggling, wriggling and screaming and then drained it out, popped its head off, strung it up, washed it, plucked it. He drew it out… more or less probably for the shock factor.”
The student has apparently claimed the chicken slaughter was performed in the name of "art", as part of his coursework. But that's no excuse for cruelly slitting the throat of and decapitating a chicken in a public area.
Please charge this student with criminal animal cruelty. There is no place for animal abuse in a compassionate society. How can the public be expected to maintain confidence in the justice system when authorities let animal abusers get away with their crimes?
Criminal charges in this case are the only way to send a strong message to others who might consider abusing animals and calling it "art."
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