Just days after a dozens of dogs and cats were seized in a pair of busts on backyard breeding operations in British Columbia, the provincial government announced tough new rules to prevent animal abuse by unscrupulous breeders.
“Animal cruelty is unacceptable,” B.C. Premier Christy Clark told reporters this week, pledging to work with the BC SPCA to target irresponsible pet breeders.
“If your desire to make money comes at the expense of animal welfare we don’t want you doing business here,” she added, “You are not welcome in British Columbia.”
Clark’s government announced Monday it would enshrine Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s rules around cat and dog breeding under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The codes would set the standards around housing and sanitation, food and water and veterinary care to discourage puppy mills and cattery breeders.
Breeders would also need licenses to operate.
Craig Daniell, CEO of the BC SPCA, called the initiative a “significant step forward in preventing animal abuse.”
Animal Justice applauded the news, but suggested a better way to shut down puppy and kitty mills is to end the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores. Shops should offer shelter cats and dogs for adoption instead, the group said.
The government will start consultations to develop the new rules this spring with legislation expected to be in place next year.