Province says it’s strengthening animal abuse laws


Published December 5, 2019 at 7:37 pm


The provincial government has passed legislation intended to better protect animals from abuse and neglect.

This legislation will be the first provincial government-based animal welfare enforcement system, and, once it comes into effect on January 1, 2020, Ontario will have the harshest penalties for animal abusers, according to the province.

“I am proud to say we have followed through on our commitment to deliver a modern animal welfare system,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a news release.

“Ontario is now a leader in Canada when it comes to protecting animals, especially when it comes to penalties for offenders,” she continued.

This new system comes after the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals stopped providing enforcement services this past June after more than 100 years of doing so.

The new system will implement a new enforcement model that will mandate provincial inspectors with specialized expertise in livestock, zoos, aquariums, and equines provide province-wide coverage.

It will also update prohibitions–so people charged with dogfighting wouldn’t have their equipment returned, for example–as well as make punishments for people charged with such offences more severe, and enable inspectors to retrieve animals in distress from vehicles during extreme weather conditions.

“Ontario is setting the bar for other provinces when it comes to a modern animal welfare system,” Christine Hogarth, parliamentary assistant to the Solicitor General, said in the same release.

“Our government has said how committed we are to the well-being of animals and we have proven our commitment by passing this new legislation,” she continued.

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