Ontario SPCA and Humane Society Position Statements
Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)
The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society strongly support the elimination of keeping exotic and wild animals as pets and the banning of the sale, breeding, or importation of any exotic creature or wild animal for use as entertainment, display or companionship purposes.
We will continue to advocate for the highest welfare standards possible for all animals kept as pets, regardless of species. As many exotic animals have complex and highly specific husbandry needs, we encourage prospective owners to seek companionship from animals who have proven to thrive when under human care. We will assist in finding the best possible home for exotic or wild animals that may come into our care.
The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society urges the provincial and federal governments to develop legislation banning the importation, breeding, and sale of wild and exotic animals.
Puppy Mills / Irresponsible breeding
The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society strongly condemns the existence of irresponsible breeding including “breeding mills” where animals live in poor living conditions and female animals are continuously bred to produce the greatest number of offspring. When bringing an animal into your home, the Society encourages making adoption your first option.
The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society advocates for government action to address irresponsible breeding, including “puppy mills”.
Euthanasia should be performed only by skilled professionals who have been trained and certified in the most humane methods, and the method used must be the most appropriate for the species to minimize fear, pain and distress.
The Ontario SPCA and Humane society believes every community should have access to adequate veterinary care and advocates for the expansion of veterinary services.
Animals for Entertainment and Recreation
Trial and Train
The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society oppose the use of animals in activities, contests, or events that have a high probability of causing death, injury, distress, or illness as these activities do not enable the animal’s ability to achieve the Five Freedoms.
The proposed regulation, to allow for the transfer of existing train and trial licenses and a 90-day window to purchase new licenses, is highly problematic.
The Ontario SPCA has specific concerns with both the overall purpose of existing licenses and the specific animal welfare implications these regulations might allow, including:
- Activities carried out in licensed facilities by their nature provided the opportunity for “canned hunts” of wildlife under the guise of a trial and train license;
- keeping wild animals in an enclosed area, for the purpose of being prey in competitions and “canned hunts” crosses a line from genuine hunting practices to a form of entertainment that results in the significant increase risks of injury or death of animals due to their confinement. This is unacceptable and should not be allowed, much less expanded;
- that a 90-day licensing window will eventually be extended or replaced with a permanent availability for new licenses.
For these reasons, the Ontario SPCA opposes the continued operation of these facilities, the ability to transfer licenses, and the issuance of new licenses by the province due to the significant animal welfare implications.