May 19, 2022

Quebec: One Ontario: Zero

Ontario needs to do better

You may have heard that Quebec recently introduced some progressive changes to its Animal Welfare and Safety Act. If the legislation passes, some of the biggest and most long-standing animal welfare concerns will finally be addressed in that province.

Prong collars? Gone. Tail docking, ear cropping and declawing of cats? Gone. Gas chambers for euthanasia? Gone.

These are big and important steps forward. Prong collars are cruel and counterproductive. Cosmetic surgeries do nothing for the animal but cause pain. Declawing is actually amputation of a cat’s final digit. Don’t get me started on gas chambers. I’ve seen them used when I’ve visited other shelters. They are not humane for animals, or the staff who are forced to use them.

The legislation also limits breeders to owning 50 dogs or cats. Clearly this is too many. A smaller puppy mill is still a puppy mill, and 50 dogs can produce a lot of puppies. Most operations are one or two people — not sufficient to feed and care for that many animals, much less socialize them to become happy safe family pets.

So, while there are flaws in the Quebec legislation, we in Ontario shouldn’t be too smug. Ontario’s animals have none of these protections, and it’s time we start demanding them.

Bruce Roney
President & CEO