News release

Province Seeks Input on Stronger Protection for Animals

The province is launching consultations to ensure the most fair and comprehensive regulations are established for protecting animals in Nova Scotia.

"Animal abuse is intolerable. That's why we established legislation in the spring that strengthens penalties for animal abusers, making them among the stiffest in the country," said Agriculture Minister John MacDonell. "Now we want to welcome Nova Scotians to share their thoughts as we create strong, clear guidelines to support this new legislation."

The regulations will address the standard of care for animals, including physical shelters such as dog houses, animal restraints and tethers.

"Many people get a lot of happiness and fulfillment from having a pet as part of their family. For others, animals are more than companions, they are valuable service animals that help them to more easily perform everyday activities," said Mr. MacDonell.

"Either way, we believe it’s important to provide clear guidance that allows people to make the best choices when it comes to caring for their animals."

The Protection of Animal Welfare and Security Act (PAWS) makes Nova Scotia one of the leading jurisdictions in Canada in the protection of animals. It expands the definition of distress for an animal, making it easier for SPCA investigators to do their job. It also makes it an offence to commercially sell a dog whose health has not been certified by a veterinarian. This step, the first of its kind in the country, is an additional tool that will help address the issue of puppy mills and focuses on sellers that are not ensuring the health and protection of their dogs.

"We've already reached out to key groups to invite them to participate in meetings to discuss potential regulations, including the SPCA, People for Dogs, and veterinarians," said Mr. MacDonell. "Pet owners and animal lovers across the province will also be able to share their views in writing in the coming weeks."

People will be able to provide written feedback concerning the new regulations, beginning Aug. 12, for 30 days at www.gov.ns.ca/agri/ or by writing to the Department of Agriculture at:
Animal Protection Act Regulations C/O Department of Agriculture Legislation and Corporate Services PO Box 890 Bible Hill Nova Scotia B2N 5G6

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province is launching consultations to ensure fair and comprehensive regulations are established for protecting animals in Nova Scotia.

Agriculture Minister John MacDonell says animal abuse is intolerable and that's why the province passed legislation last spring that strengthens penalties for animal abusers.

The legislation also expands the definition of distress, making it easier to for SPCA investigators to do their job, and makes it illegal to sell a dog whose health hasn’t been certified by a veterinarian.

The regulations will address the standard of care for animals, including physical shelters such as dog houses, animal restraints and tethers.

The department is meeting with key groups to discuss the new regulations including the SPCA, People for Dogs, and veterinarians. People will be able to provide written feedback concerning the new regulations, beginning Aug. 12, for 30 days at the Department of Agriculture website or by writing to the Department of Agriculture.

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Media Contact:

Krista Higdon
Department of Agriculture 902-424-8860 E-mail: