News release

Standards of Care for Animal Protection Act Released

Pet owners in Nova Scotia must follow stronger standards in the care and sale of their cats and dogs.

New standards were released today, Dec. 4, by Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. The standards and amendments to the Animal Protection Act came into effect Dec. 2.

"The protection of animals is very important to me and to Nova Scotians," said Mr. Colwell. "We now have standards of care in place to help ensure cats and dogs in this province are properly cared for and protected."

Amendments made to the Animal Protection Act in 2013 broadened the definition of distress and provided authority for regulations.

Through regulation, the standards aim to prevent distress and cruelty and to strengthen the protection of cats and dogs.

The standards include:

  • prohibiting tethering for more than 12 consecutive hours
  • a veterinarian certificate of health is required in order to sell both cats and dogs
  • new rules for outdoor care, shelters, pens and enclosures
  • new requirements around the transportation of cats and dogs

Enforcement officials are now able to write summary offence tickets for violations of the act and regulations. Fines range from about $200 to $700.

"We are pleased that the new standards of care enable the Nova Scotia SPCA to rectify issues that have been of concern to our investigators and the community," said Elizabeth Murphy, CEO of the Nova Scotia SPCA. "Particularly, we applaud the inclusion of cats and the requirement of certificates of health for those who sell cats and dogs."

More than 300 Nova Scotians provided input for the new regulations and standards. Mr. Colwell met with a new minister's forum today to share the regulations with representatives from groups like the SPCA and People for Dogs. The forum will meet annually.

"While developing both legislation and regulations, we've consulted and listened to Nova Scotians," said Mr. Colwell. "We look forward to our continued partnership with the SPCA and other organizations that share our dedication to the protection of cats and dogs in Nova Scotia."

The Animal Protection Act regulations are available under consolidated regulations at www.novascotia.ca/just/regulations .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Pet owners in Nova Scotia must follow stronger standards in the care and sale of their cats and dogs.

New standards were released today (December 4th) by Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. The standards and amendments to the Animal Protection Act came into effect December 2nd.

Mr. Colwell says the protection of cats and dogs is very important to him and to Nova Scotians. He says Nova Scotia now has standards of care in place to help ensure cats and dogs in this province are properly cared for and protected.

Enforcement officials are now able to write summary offence tickets for violations of the act and regulations. Fines range from about $200 to $700.

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