New Measures Will Help Protect Animals
Province Passes OSPCA Amendment Act (Interim Period), 2019
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 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 others who are willing to assist and ensure animal welfare enforcement continues after June 28, 2019, when the OSPCA will withdraw its animal protection enforcement services.
"The OSPCA Amendment Act allows local humane societies to continue the important enforcement work that they've already been doing for many years," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. "This is a temporary solution to fill the gaps until we transition to a new model in 2020."
Ontario has been seeking public feedback through an online survey to ensure the people of Ontario have the opportunity to share their thoughts to help improve animal protection. This feedback will directly inform Ontario's new model.
"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 Jones. "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."
"Humane Societies are the only specialized force in the country dedicated solely to animal protection and we look forward to working with the Government of Ontario throughout this consultation to ensure an enforcement role for local Humane Societies ensuring protection for our animals."
- Humane Canada
"We are very pleased at the government's efforts to ensure that an effective transition plan is in place for the remainder of the year to protect Ontario's animals. Our organization looks forward to working with others to create a new animal welfare and law enforcement structure in Ontario that will be a model for other jurisdictions, and in the meantime, we welcome the opportunity to continue our current animal welfare enforcement work. We appreciate the government's willingness to take the steps needed to make this smoother transition possible."
- Windsor-Essex County Humane Society
"The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is ready to continue serving community through animal protection, enforcement and investigation services as the province works towards a new, permanent enforcement model."
- The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA
"Our Board of Directors has been very clear that we want to continue to provide animal protection in our communities. We have been providing this service for many years in Waterloo Region (except Cambridge) and Perth County and are committed to ensuring that the animals, who don't have a voice, have the care and protection they need."
- The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth
"This progressive measure will enable protection for animals to continue while the government works to develop robust animal protection legislation that includes transparency and accountability. In response to the Ontario SPCA's decision to withdraw from enforcement and from their legislated responsibilities relating to the Chief Inspector, Bill 117 will enable the province to appoint a Chief Inspector who will empower Humane Society Inspectors to continue their vital work to protect Ontario's animals."
- The Lincoln County Humane Society
"The Guelph Humane Society is one of the affiliated humane society's that has willingly stepped forward to offer our continued assistance as the Province works towards a new, permanent enforcement model."
- The Guelph Humane Society
"This temporary legislative measure will keep animals in our region and across Ontario safe in the interim. It will allow the provincial government the appropriate time to build a more robust, transparent and accountable animal protection system in Ontario."
- Humane Society London & Middlesex
- 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.