Ontario Passes New Bill Helping Animal Protection Services
The Ontario Government is looking to help animals across the province live safer lives.
Ontario recently passed Bill 117, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Amendment Act (Interim Period), 2019.
This is a temporary measure to keep animals safe while the province moves towards an improved animal protection enforcement system that promises to be more robust, transparent and accountable.
The OSPCA provided animal welfare protection services in Ontario for over 100 years. However, on March 4, 2019, they notified the province that they intend to discontinue those services.
The newly passed act gives the province the power to appoint a chief inspector, who can also appoint qualified local inspectors at affiliated humane societies and ensure animal welfare enforcement continues after June 28, 2019, when the OSPCA will withdraw its animal protection enforcement services.
"The OSPCA Amendment Act allows local humane societies to continue the important enforcement work that they've already been doing for many years," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. "This is a temporary solution to fill the gaps until we transition to a new model in 2020."
The province continues to work towards a new animal welfare system in place for January 2020. Despite the fact OSPCA withdraws its services after June 28, it refused to extend the current agreement to support the transition to the new system.
Ontario is currently seeking feedback from residents through an online survey. This gives Ontarians the chance to share their thoughts on improving animal protection. This feedback will be taken into account for Ontario's new model.
"We are taking action to ensure the laws we have in place protect animals from abuse and neglect and hold people accountable when they do not properly look after animals under their care," said Jones. "I know the people of Ontario support our government's commitment to developing a better animal protection enforcement system. We're going to deliver on our promise to improve the system."
You can read the full details on the act here.