Anyone may report an animal in distress.
Contact the following animal protection agencies if you suspect animal cruelty:
You should have the following information available:
- Type and number of animals;
- Physical description of animals;
- What access the animals have to food, water, shelter and care;
- Location of animals; and
- Name of owner/caretaker.
Your name will be kept confidential.
Animal protection agency: According to The Animal Protection Act, 2018, this is any organization that is designated as an animal protection agency, including humane societies.
Person responsible for an animal: The Animal Protection Act, 2018 indicates that the following are considered persons responsible:
- A person who owns an animal;
- A person who has custody or control of an animal; or
A person who has custody or charge of a minor who is the owner of an animal.
Duty to report
Veterinarians have a duty to report suspected animal cruelty cases to an animal protection agency.
According to The Animal Protection Act, 2018:
- “A veterinarian shall, without delay, report to an animal protection officer or agency any event that the veterinarian believes on reasonable grounds is a contravention of sections 3 to 6.”
- “An animal protection officer or agency may require the veterinarian to provide the animal protection officer with additional information relevant to the event that is known by, or readily available to, the veterinarian.”
Recognizing livestock in distress
According to The Animal Protection Act, 2018 an animal is in distress if it is:
- deprived of:
- food or water sufficient to maintain the animal in a state of good health;
- care or shelter; or
- veterinary care or medical attention;
- in need of reasonable protection from injurious heat or cold;
- wounded, ill, in pain, suffering, abused or neglected;
- kept in conditions that:
- are unsanitary;
- will significantly impair the animal’s health or well-being over time;
- cause the animal extreme anxiety or suffering; or
- contravene the prescribed standards, codes of practice or guidelines; or
- abandoned by its owner or by a person responsible for the animal in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause, distress resulting from any or all of the factors listed in this section.
Notwithstanding anything in the Act, an animal is not considered to be in distress if it is handled:
- in the case of a class of animals for which there is a standard, code of practice or guideline that is prescribed as acceptable, in a manner consistent with the standard, code of practice or guideline that is prescribed as acceptable;
- in accordance with generally accepted practices of animal management; or
- in a manner that is otherwise responsible in the circumstances.
Animal Care Duties
According to The Animal Protection Act, 2018, the following are a list of duties that are required for those responsible for animals:
- Ensure that the animal is provided with food and water sufficient to maintain the animal in a state of good health;
- Provide the animal with adequate veterinary care or medical attention when the animal is wounded or ill;
- Provide the animal with adequate shelter and reasonable protection from injurious heat or cold; and
- Not significantly impair the animal’s health or well-being by confining the animal to an enclosure or area:
- With inadequate space;
- With unsanitary conditions;
- With inadequate ventilation or lighting; or
- Without providing an opportunity for exercise
A person responsible for an animal for which there is a standard, code of practice or guideline that is prescribed as acceptable is deemed to have complied with subsection (1) if that person has complied with the standard, code of practice or guideline.
Enforcement of The Animal Protection Act, 2018
The Animal Protection Act, 2018 is enforced by animal protection officers as described in the Act.
An animal protection officer is:
- A member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;
- A member of a municipal police service; or
- A person appointed as an animal protection officer pursuant to subsection 9(1) of The Animal Protection Act, 2018.
According to The Animal Protection Act, 2018, the following are a list of requirements for those appointed as animal protection officers:
Subject to the regulations, the minister may appoint any person as an animal protection officer for the purposes of this Part who:
- meets the prescribed qualifications; and
- satisfies the minister that he or she is suitable to be appointed as an animal protection officer.