LETTER: Ban on animal ownership must be enforced

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Considering prevention is the middle name of the SPCA one would hope they believe this.

This was one of 29 animals rescued from a Winlaw property last month.

Re: Winlaw man charged with animal cruelty

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is the saying. Considering that prevention is the middle name of the BC SPCA one would hope they particularly believe this. But the recent raid and arrest of Joao Vieira in Winlaw does not support this at all.

With three convictions and four breaches dating back to 2006 it is utterly absurd to think that any further conviction and sentencing of Vieira will prevent this horrific situation, the months of pain, fear and starvation, from happening again. The only way to stop this repeated animal torture is for proper monitoring and enforcement of the ban on ownership of animals imposed by the court.

The BC SPCA should have been monitoring Vieira for years and it’s not a complicated or difficult action: a simple drive-by once per month would probably suffice because any sighting of any animal is enough to arrest him. If this was done properly then there would be a maximum of 30 days from any time he moved.

If the BC SPCA lost track of him then they should have brought the RCMP in, again no more than 30 days from the last known whereabouts. And these days it’s not that hard for the RCMP to find someone (Vieira no doubt had to open an electronic account, I think he has a vehicle, if he purchased property it’s publicly registered, etc.) in a few weeks. If the RCMP declined to make it a priority then the court should be advised (the court does not like being ignored).

A proper log showing known addresses and dates of visits as well as documented procedure for reporting and tracking are the very least that should be kept by the BC SPCA for court-ordered bans. How onerous could this be? It should be a much bigger job but the reality is that ownership bans are rare. I expect that Vieira is the only one for the BC SPCA to manage in this area.

The raid on Vieira, the death and torture of 33 or more animals, all happened only because organizations and people with responsibility dropped the ball. Worse, the questions I asked were met with denial and deflection. This tells me that this awful situation will be repeated in the future.

Kevin LePape, Rural Nelson

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Not business as usual as Nelson slowly reopens

Local owners talk about the pandemic has changed how they operate

City of Nelson takes over farmers’ markets from EcoSociety

Markets start June 13 and will be run by the Nelson and District Youth Centre

School District announces Rick Hansen Foundation difference-maker award winners

Creston student Alexis Folk and Nelson teacher Chris Mieske recognized by the Rick Hansen Foundation

Nelson offers financing for homeowners to purchase electric bikes

Loan payments will be applied to hydro bills as part of the EcoSave home retrofit program

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read