MPP Piccini Hosts Animal Welfare Roundtable

Published on August 07, 2019

MPP Piccini hosts a roundtable with Solicitor General to discuss animal protection
in Northumberland-Peterborough South

PORT HOPE, ON – Today, MPP David Piccini hosted a roundtable with Solicitor General Sylvia Jones for stakeholders in Northumberland-Peterborough South to have the opportunity to discuss ways to improve animal protection.

Ontario passed the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Amendment Act (Interim Period), 2019, a temporary measure to keep animals safe while the province transitions to an improved animal protection enforcement system in 2020 that is more robust, transparent and accountable.

This act empowers the province to appoint a Chief Inspector, who can in turn appoint qualified local inspectors at affiliated humane societies and willing partners to ensure animal welfare enforcement continues after June 28, 2019.

A number of humane societies and local SPCAs stepped forward to offer their continued assistance while we work towards a new, permanent enforcement model. The Northumberland Humane Society (NHS) has been appointed to provide animal welfare enforcement and investigations for our municipalities and the public. Accountable to the Chief Inspector, the NHS will enforce the law with a new division that will include a hotline to report cases of animal cruelty and neglect. This interim enforcement team will continue while the Province develops a new model.

As a part of our government’s plan to develop a comprehensive permanent animal protection model, our strategy includes broad consultation with municipalities, police services and members of the public. Our government sought feedback through an online survey to ensure that Ontarians had the opportunity to share their thoughts to help improve animal protection in the province. This direct feedback will be used to inform our improved model, which has included advice from the public, veterinarians, agriculture stakeholders, industry experts, shelters, local SPCAs and municipal and policing partners.

“We recognize that the protection of animals is important to the people of Ontario and vital to rural communities like ours,” said MPP David Piccini. “We will continue working with our partners to ensure we implement an improved animal protection model in Ontario.”

"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 Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "I know the people of Ontario support our government's commitment to develop a better animal protection enforcement system. We're going to deliver on our promise to improve the system."

“This is a huge win for the animals in Northumberland County,” said Kate Lennan, General Manager of the Northumberland Humane Society. “This takes a tremendous weight off of the municipalities and law enforcement in terms of attending to animal cruelty matters. The Northumberland Humane Society remains dedicated to animal welfare and will ensure that at-risk animals will be protected until such time that the province develops a new enforcement model.”

Quick Facts

  • The OSPCA has provided animal welfare protection services in Ontario for over 100 years. On March 4, 2019, they provided the province less than 30 days’ notice that they intended to discontinue those services as of March 31, 2019.
  • An agreement was reached between Ontario and the OSPCA to extend animal welfare law enforcement services until June 28, 2019.
  • The province is working to have a new animal welfare system in place in January 2020. However, the OSPCA has refused to extend the current agreement to support the transition to the new system.
  • Earlier this month, the government filed a regulation to empower willing OSPCA affiliates to continue animal protection enforcement on a temporary basis. This step followed expressions of interest from numerous affiliates who had stepped forward to offer their assistance.
  • For reasons that remain unclear, the OSPCA indicated in a letter to the Solicitor General they would contravene S.6(1) of the OSPCA Act, which would block the interim measure to ensure animal protection laws continue to be enforced.
  • The public can report animal welfare concerns by calling 1-833-9ANIMAL (1-833-926-4625).

 

For more information, contact:

Paige Wiggans, Executive Assistant
Office of MPP David Piccini
E: paige.wiggans@ontario.ca
O: 905-372-4000