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Ministry to Develop Regulations for Ontario’s New Animal Welfare Legislation

As you may know, Bill 136 received Royal Assent on December 5, 2019, which means that that the new Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act (PAWS Act) will replace the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The new law serves as a legislative framework and the Ministry of the Solicitor General must now work to develop regulations under the Act. The regulations will define the application and enforcement of the new legislation. The Ministry will begin consultations on the regulations for standards of care, followed by other areas of the legislation in early 2020. CKC will be a key stakeholder in these consultations, that will occur before the regulations are drafted.

The new animal welfare legislation does not include a ban on veterinary surgical procedures. However, Bill 136 includes enabling provisions that will permit the government to develop regulations on “prescribed activities, procedures and items” (Section 21-23) in the months following the implementation of the PAWS Act. These “prescribed activities, procedures and items” have yet to be defined. For example, Section 22 states that “No person shall cause an animal to undergo a procedure prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council”. During the consultation process, the Ministry’s office may review all veterinary surgical procedures and will consult with CKC and other stakeholders before any regulations are made.

CKC remains in continued dialogue with the Ministry of the Solicitor General’s office regarding the consultation process. Further details will be provided to the membership when new information becomes available. The PAWS Act is expected to take effect January 1, 2020.
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