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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

New Animal Welfare System

Regional | by Phil DeLand  

The Ontario Government is looking to adopt a new animal welfare system.

The Ontario Government is looking to adopt a new animal welfare system.

Officials say the new laws will better protect animals from abuse and neglect by proposing the strongest penalties in Canada for offenders.

It'll also offer a more robust enforcement system.

The proposed Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act, 2019 would improve animal welfare in multiple different ways.

New offences to combat activities such as dog fighting and give inspectors necessary powers to help animals in distress and to hold owners accountable.

It would also give government the ability to empower others, beyond inspectors, to take action when an animal is in imminent risk of serious injury or death when a pet is left in a hot car.

There would be a significant increase in penalties for serious, repeat and corporate offenders and would be some of the strongest in Canada.

An improvement of oversight and ensuring increased transparency and accountability, including establishing a one-window complaints mechanism for the public.

There would also be the establishment of a multi-disciplinary advisory table made up of a wide range of experts, including veterinarians, agriculture representatives, academics, animal advocates and others to provide ongoing advice to the ministry to improve animal welfare. 

Along with the proposed legislative changes, the system will be strengthened by hiring more provincial inspectors to ensure better coverage across the province, including specialists in livestock, agriculture, horses, zoos and aquariums. 

The proposed new animal welfare system was developed based on input from municipalities, police, industry, technical experts, veterinarian organizations, animal sheltering and advocacy organizations, and the public. 

If passed, the government would continue to work with partners to ensure the best protection and support for animals.

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