From last May until early this year, staff at the BC SPCA Cowichan & District Branch helped nurse a potbellied pig named Molly back to health. Molly and 56 other potbellied pigs had been rescued from a terrible hoarding situation on Vancouver Island.
After eight months of care, 3-year-old Molly was ready to be adopted into a loving home. A couple from British Columbia adopted the pig in January, and Molly appeared to be destined for a well-deserved happily ever after.
But a month later, someone saw Snapchat photos and videos of the couple gleefully seasoning a slab of pork meat. That’s right, Molly’s adopters killed and ate her.
Yes, this was disgusting and shocking – and it’s also shocking that no, Molly’s unidentified adopters were not breaking any laws. It’s legal in Canada to eat animals, including pet dogs, cats and potbellied pigs, for food, as long as they are killed humanely. The constables who investigated the adopters’ property determined that this was the case with Molly.
The BC SPCA employees who’d spent all those months caring for Molly were devastated. “Our staff conducted a thorough adoption counselling process and used an adoption form specifically designed for livestock,” spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk told the Vancouver Sun. “The adopter gave assurances, verbally and in writing, that their intent was to keep the animal as a pet. Unfortunately (this) is a rare instance where an adopter blatantly lied.”
In response to the outrage over Molly’s killing, one of her adopters posted an apology on Facebook. “I promise that I did not adopt Molly with the intention of killing her,” he wrote. “It was only when she became aggressive with my partner’s dog and had tried breaking through our glass door that I made the decision to have her put down.”
He didn’t say why he killed Molly instead of humanely returning her to the BC SPCA so she’d have the opportunity to find a more suitable home. But because what he did is perfectly legal in Canada, the only punishment he’s facing is a ban on adopting any other animals from the 36 BC SCPA shelters.
Camille Labchuck, an animal rights attorney, is one of many animal advocates who want to change those laws to prevent other animals from suffering Molly’s fate.
The current law, enacted back in the 1950s, “doesn’t protect animals from being killed, it doesn’t give them the right to their own lives, it just protects them from being tortured, or harmed or suffering,” Labchuck, who’s the executive director of Animal Justice, a group of lawyers advocating for stronger animal protection legislation in Canada, told Global News.
In 2016, members of Parliament had the opportunity to update the outdated laws with the Modernizing Animal Protections Act, but voted against it.
Could the international outrage over Molly’s killing be an impetus for tougher laws?
“We now see cats and dogs as family members,” Labchuck told Global News. “The idea that they’re just disposable property and that we can kill them on a whim because we’re bored with them, or for fun, or to eat them — I don’t think that really meshes with how people think about animals anymore.”
Molly’s adopters posted disturbing photos and videos of themselves eating their adopted pet on Snapchat. Please sign this Care2 petition urging Snapchat to ban the couple.
Photo credit: Global News Online/YouTube
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