B.C. Government to Adopt Regulation To Protect Dogs and Cats

The B.C. government will adopt a regulation under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act recognizing the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Codes of Practice for both kennel and cattery operations as generally accepted management practices for cat and dog breeders in British Columbia. 

The codes provide clear direction to breeders, and sets clear expectations for breeders to respect the practices considered acceptable by government.

Premier Christy Clark is quoted as saying: “Animal cruelty is unacceptable.Today we’re taking another step towards stopping those cat and dog breeders who don’t provide adequate care. Together with the BC SPCA and key stakeholders, we will develop a system that supports responsible pet breeders in B.C., and targets the ones that aren’t.”

The Code of Practice includes areas such as housing, ventilation, food and water, care and supervision, record-keeping, behavioural needs, socialization and transportation, and specifically notes:
  • If a dog is sick, injured, in pain, or suffering, prompt and adequate veterinary care must be provided; and for cats, veterinary care is provided at the first indication that the animal is not well.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing should be carried out daily.
  • Minimal spacing for dogs and cats (1.1 to2.2 square metres depending on the dog’s size, and 1.5 square metres for cats)
  • Written procedures for care should be posted so that they are available to personnel at all times.
The B.C. government has also begun consultations with the BC SPCA and other key stakeholders to develop new laws that will assist the BC SPCA to monitor and take action against irresponsible breeders of dogs and cats.

The consultation will contribute ideas on: 
  • Required licensing and or registration to operate  as a breeder.
  • Possible proactive monitoring and enforcement of commercial cat and dog breeders.
  • Finding sources that could be used to support enhanced and more proactive enforcement by the BC SPCA.
The consultations will take place over spring 2016 with legislation anticipated in 2017.

Quick Facts:
B.C.’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act has the toughest provincial penalties in Canada.
Under B.C.’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, charges can be laid against a person who is convicted of causing distress to and animal in British Columbia.
The maximum penalties that can be levied under provincial legislation against a person who is convicted of causing distress to an animal is $75,000 and up to 24 months imprisonment.
The B.C. government encourages the reporting of any events which may be in contravention of those laws and regulations so they can be fully investigated.

Full story and photos at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016AGRI0007-000259