By LeRae Haynes
North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite has introduced a Private Member's Bill that will target puppy and kitty mills while protecting legitimate breeders and future pet owners. The bill, âStandards of Care for Breeders of Companion Animalsâ, is intended to outline specific requirements for dog and cat breeders in BC to ensure the welfare of their animals.Â Up until now there have been guidelines, but nothing enforceable.
"This bill outlines the expectations of dog and cat breeders in BC. It declares that pets are not merely a source of income, but rather loving, living creatures that deserve to be treated in a safe and humane manner. I would like to acknowledge the valuable contributions and input from veterinarians and local animal welfare organizations,â said North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite. âWithout their knowledge, advice and support, this bill would not have been possible."
âIt is extremely heartwarming to know that issues like breeding companion animals are starting to be at least discussed at a provincial level with the animals in mind,â said local veterinarian and SPCA Community Council Chair Cheri Galatiuk.Â âHowever, just like we see with bylaws and laws in our community (for example the law to have your dog secured in your pickup truck), the strength of these ârulesâ are only measured in those to enforce them.
âI really hope that this is not another set of guidelines that seems great in the beginning, but its only purpose is to satisfy those who pushed for its creation and not actually protect the breeding animals,â she continued. âI hope this is not the case, but it tends to be in a lot of situations.Â I do believe, though, that even if it is not strictly enforced, that it will provide the framework necessary to properly reprimand some illegitimate breeders in certain circumstances.Â All in all, itâs a step in the right direction.â
Williams Lake veterinarian Eileen Alberton said that she thinks that the standards of care in the proposed bill are ones that a reasonable dog breeder will want to uphold. âIâve been in the homes of a lot of breeders in our area and I canât see any of them having a problem with it,â she said.
âI donât think it will completely prevent puppy mills. Unfortunately, where thereâs a will thereâs a way. Whether people have one dog that they breed, or a whole bunch, some people will breed them indiscriminatelyâtheyâre basically traffickers and Iâm not comfortable with that. I also think that there can be serious problems with purebred dogs,
âMost breeders I know try to be knowledgeable and stay up-to-date with genetic testing. Most of them donât make a whole lot of money: they love the breed and love what they do,â she continued. âIn a perfect world Iâd like to see people get dogs from someone who has carefully selected their parents.â
The government states that this legislation will increase public awareness about the standards of care that dog and cat breeders must adhere to. The bill declares that breeders of three or more female dogs or cats capable of reproduction will be required not only to understand, but meet, the standards of care in handling and breeding their animals.
âI really wonder how they can exempt people with one or two breeding animals from this bill.Â It wouldn't take much to change the wording to 'any' breeding animals,â Cheri continued. âAnd what does âfrequent access to waterâ really mean?Â I think needs a few more details in a few places.â
The legislation outlines the requirements for breeding dogs and cats in the following areas:Â food and water,Â containment and shelter, sanitation, breeding, whelping, supply of animals, socialization of animals, illness or injury, harmful substances, transportation, euthanasia, grooming, surgical procedures, required records, offenses and penalties.
Cheri said that she really likes the fact that the bill is banning breeders from doing cosmetic procedures such as tail docks and ear crops.Â âAccording to the bill, these procedures are to be only performed by a licensed veterinarian.Â As a veterinarian I do not perform these procedures as I feel they are cruel and unnecessary.
âOur licensing body is currently trying to make it so no veterinarian in BC is allowed to perform these procedures without a medical reason,â she stated.Â âIf this also goes into effect, no one will be allowed to perform these procedures and hopefully they will eventually be removed from being mainstream in most breeds.â
Operators that fail to comply with the legislation will be subject to punishment under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
|< Prev||Next >|