Ontario's government is working to improve the animal welfare system to make sure it is more robust, transparent and accountable.
As this work proceeds, the government wants to hear from the people of Ontario. A public survey has been posted online to ensure everyone has the opportunity to share their thoughts to help improve animal welfare. This feedback will directly inform Ontario's new model.
In the 2019 Ontario Budget, Protecting What Matters Most, the government promised to review existing legislation to ensure appropriate measures are in place to provide animals with the protections they deserve and Ontarians expect.
"Protecting animals is important to the people of Ontario, and it's important to me," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "Our government has always maintained that the system can be made more robust, transparent, and accountable.
"While work is already underway to introduce a better system, I'm counting on the people of Ontario to share their ideas, feedback, and concern as part of our public survey."
In addition to the public survey, the government today posted a regulation intended to help ensure no animals fall through the cracks during the transition to the new enforcement model. This regulation will provide options to ensure effective enforcement until the new model is implemented.
The regulation enables affiliates of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA), such as local humane societies, to continue enforcement should they wish to do so.
"A number of OSPCA affiliates stepped forward to offer their continued assistance as we work towards a new, permanent enforcement model," said Jones.
"Our government wants to empower these affiliates to continue protecting animals as we develop a new model. This work cannot be rushed, and animal protection is too important not to get right," Jones added.
"This is a temporary solution to fill in the gaps while we transition to a new model."
To report an animal in distress or suspected animal abuse, you can: Call 310-SPCA (7722) or 1-888-668-7722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact your local OSPCA branch or affiliate, local humane society, or your local police service.
The OSPCA has provided animal welfare protection services in Ontario for over 100 years.
On March 4, 2019, they provided the province notice that they intend to discontinue those services. An agreement was reached between Ontario and the OSPCA to extend animal welfare law enforcement services until June 28, 2019.
The OSPCA has refused to extend that agreement until the end of 2019, when a new system will be in place. Police services continue to have the authority to enforce the laws that protect animals in Ontario.