Bill to ban puppy mills and reckless sale of dogs now law in Ontario

A new law designed to crack down on unethical dog breeders passed royal assent in Ontario Thursday, giving the province new power to stamp out puppy mills and protect the lives of countless animals.

Preventing Unethical Puppy Sales Act, or PUPS, was introduced in December to amend the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, which is aimed at stopping harmful dog breeding practices, imposing penalties and ensuring dogs across Ontario are cared for properly.

“This new law is an important step towards protecting dogs and the public from unscrupulous breeders operating puppy mills and the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has been pushing to make sure it passed before the summer recess,” the Barrie branch of the Ontario SPCA posted on social media.

“We will continue working with the Solicitor General’s office as they draft the detailed regulations that will accompany the new law to ensure the best possible protections for dogs and the public,” it added.

The new legislation will prohibit a number of things including:

  • Breeding a female dog more than three times in a two-year period, or breeding more than two litters from a female dog’s consecutive heat cycles
  • Breeding a female dog that is less than a year old
  • Failing to keep a dog with a contagious disease away from other dogs or animals
  • Failing to ensure a dog’s environment is sanitary and free from accumulation of waste
  • Separating a puppy from its mother before the age of eight weeks

It also makes operating a puppy mill punishable with a minimum $10,000 fine and $25,000 for actions that result in the death of a dog.

“Ontario currently has the strongest penalties for animal welfare violations in the country and we will not stop until dogs, and other animals across the province, have a comprehensive and robust system to ensure their safety,” Solicitor General Michael Kerzner said when introducing the tough new bill. “The Preventing Unethical Puppy Sales Act will help to ensure Ontario remains a leader in animal welfare by being the first province in the country to introduce minimum penalties specific to puppy mills.”

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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