04/28/2014 02:08 EDT | Updated 06/28/2014 05:59 EDT

Alberta justice minister says he'll support private member's animal cruelty bill

HIGH RIVER, Alta. - Alberta's justice minister says he'll support a private member's bill on animal cruelty.

Jonathan Denis says he plans to propose an amendment that would make the bill even tougher by calling for mandatory minimum sentences and increased jail time.

The bill by Len Webber, an Independent legislature member from Calgary, would double maximum fines for animal abuse and allow for up to six months in jail.

About 300 people rallied at the Alberta legislature on Sunday to highlight the issue of animal abuse.

Recent high-profile cases include the stabbing death of Edmonton police dog Quanto last fall and the killing of a husky in Calgary that had its muzzle taped shut.

Denis says Alberta is also supporting a federal bill called Quanto's Law designed to protect animals that work with police.

"People all over the province have started to say that it's simply unacceptable to treat animals like this," Denis said Monday while in High River to make an unrelated announcement.


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