The Ontario SPCA has concerns that Bill 37 does not take into consideration what is best for the animals across Ontario. In 2009, the Ontario SPCA Act was amended placing Ontario the front runner for Animal Welfare legislation across Canada. Private Member's Bill 37 would cause Ontario to hold the worst Animal Welfare legislation in Canada.
About Private Member's Bill 37:
• Repealing the definition of "distress", which is the legal definition on which animal abuse and neglect charges are based.
• Removing all penalties for animal abuse and neglect violations that exist as a result of the Ontario SPCA Act.
• Stripping the Ontario SPCA of all enforcement powers and abolishing the Animal Care Review Board (which currently hears appeals from people whose animals have been removed by the Ontario SPCA).
• Stopping the Ontario SPCA from removing animals from abusive and negligent situations.
• Taking away the Ontario SPCA's authority to order owners to take proper steps to care for their animals (e.g. ordering an owner to provide water, appropriate shelter or veterinary care).
• Removing the legal obligation of veterinarians to report animal abuse and neglect.
• The only recourse animals would have would be the Criminal Code of Canada, which is far more difficult to enforce and would be enforced only by police. Concerns include whether all police officers have sufficient specialized knowledge of animal husbandry to recognize distress, whether they have the skills to deal with exotic, dangerous or aggressive animals and whether the police service has enough resources to take on this extra role.
Have your say! To voice your opinion on Bill 37 contact your local MPP.