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The title of crimes against animals in the Criminal Code and a term commonly used to describe unacceptable human treatment of animals; the term is generally undefined in Canadian law and likely out of date. It connotes a malevolent intent which implies a high standard to be met before harm to an animal is considered a legal wrong. So long as there is some human purpose motivating the act and the harm is not gratuitous, it is not likely to be found to be cruel, however serious the harm to the animal and however trivial the human purpose.

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