Saint-Edouard zoo: fifteen animals have died since the seizure
Another legal battle is looming in the Saint-Édouard Zoo file when the Crown made a request to sterilize the animals that were seized, which revealed that 18 of between them were dead or had fled since the search of May and June 2019.
P mong these, there were particular lion “Norm”, an emblematic figure of the Zoo St. Edward who was only four years. The animal died last July. Present at the courthouse, the owner, Normand Trahan, was visibly upset to learn this news. “It’s heavy to see my animals die, especially the lion. It doesn’t die like a beast, a lion that has been raised to the pacifier. I played with him until I was seven or eight months old. All felines that I raised by sucking. They were big babies. The lion always came to find me to be flattered. He was in very good health and had no reason for illness, ”he said.
The Crown prosecutor, Julien Beauchamp-Laliberté.
According to what was reported by counsel for Mr. Trahan, Michel Lebrun, this information have just communicated to them while in some cases the deaths occurred several months ago. Some animals are said to have even died from the start during transport to their new habitat, while others, including a coyote and a red fox, fled the sanctuary where they were found. A baby gray wolf, who was first seen in his burrow during the search, is missing. “We have just learned that many animals have died. We will have to study this new request and take note of it, but that confirms our fears that the SPCA has undertaken an operation of which it has no control and that it is having difficulty with the consequences of its decision ”, said Mr. Lebrun.
In addition to the lion, the death of a lynx, a Barbary sheep, a red deer, a Himalayan tahr, alpacas, goats, a zebu, a American mink, a deer, a crow, a baby agouti and a baby llama,
This new request from the Crown, which was filed Thursday morning with the Court of Quebec, consists in taking care of the seized animals and in sterilizing 64 animals, and this, in order to prevent genital diseases and infections, avoid isolation of non-sterilized animals, avoid conflicts between animals due to aggressive behavior related to reproduction, prevent inbreeding between animals of the same group and ensure sound management of birth control.
Defense lawyer, Michel Lebrun.
The prosecutor, Me Julien Beauchamp-Laliberté, also believes that there is an urgent need to act in the context. According to the findings of the SPCA, the management of birth control was absent when the animals were seized. “The SPCA had to take temporary animal management measures with chemical sterilization (the animal’s birth control pill), but this remains limited,” he said.
There have therefore been 41 births since May 21, 2019, the day the search began. Taking into account the 18 deaths or leaks, the current count of animals under the care of the SPCA is 250. Note that at the very beginning, 216 animals had been identified; a figure which was then revised upwards in June 2019 to 227.
As for deaths and drain 18 animals that were hidden to the lawyer of Mr. Trahan, Mr. Beauchamp-Laliberté contends that all the information inherent in the file had been disclosed to the defense in compliance with the obligations of the prosecution. “If he discovers facts that have already been communicated today and if he wants to make allegations of them, I leave it to him,” he said.
In the same vein, he recalls that the objective of the prosecution is to hold a trial while maintaining the health of the animals, hence the filing of the motion. According to him, the animals are treated well. “Unfortunately, it is in the nature of animals to die and be born. The custody and care, however, are consistent with veterinary practices and livestock management but sterilization is necessary, “he added.
Me Lebrun is obviously not of the same opinion. The latter intends to strongly challenge this new request. He does not see it as urgent to act because the absence of sterilization has been known since the seizure of animals. His first reaction was, moreover, to request that the request be referred to the judge who will hear the trial in the same way as his own request for restitution of property which he had made following the arrest of Mr. Trahan. “We confiscated his business and now we want to manage it for him,” said Mr. Lebrun.
Saint-Edouard Zoo: “where are the animals?”
Later, he will state in a press briefing: “The fact of removing the animals and confiscating the business was not the desirable solution for Mr. Trahan and for the animals. The problem did not justify this operation which is disproportionate, “he added.
The request for sterilization was therefore postponed until January 24 to the stage of case management. Moreover, the preliminary investigation of Normand Trahan in connection with charges of animal cruelty against him will be held on 12, 13, 26 and 27 March.