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How You Can Take Action Re: New Regulation on Welfare and Safety of Domestic Companion Animals

Most recently, the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) passed the Regulation regarding the Welfare and safety of domestic companion animals following a public review period ending June 25, 2022. Although this regulation has been enacted, most requirements will not take effect until February 10, 2024, except sections 48 and 70 (regarding the 50-dog maximum for commercial breeders), which takes effect on August 25, 2022.

While it is disappointing to learn that the concerns of CKC member breeders have not been considered by MAPAQ, your Quebec Board Director, Denis Gros-Louis and Quebec representative for CKC’s National Advocacy and Government Relations Committee, Serge Bilodeau continue to press on and consult with various government officials on this matter, to ensure that the interests of CKC member breeders are well represented.

How You can Help!

Please contact your local MNA and your veterinarian and inform them about the new Regulation and how many important questions listed below remain unanswered. Let them know that the Canadian Kennel Club and CKC member breeders have highlighted serious flaws in the Regulation that will:
  • Unnecessarily burden CKC members and dog owners with administrative duplication as CKC members must already abide by the requirements of the Animal Pedigree Act and are bound by clear procedures regarding enforcement and compliance to CKC bylawspoliciesCKC Code of Practice for Member Breeders and CKC Code of Ethics.
  • Increase bureaucracy and paperwork to the existing framework and process.
    • How will these requirements be regulated and enforced?
    • How will you enforce the prohibition of parent-litter and sibling breedings for non-CKC member breeders who do not keep records?
    • How will you enforce and regulate an exercise and socialization standard on breeders of 50 dogs?
  • Further burden veterinarians who are already over-worked from caring for pandemic pets.
    • Veterinarians would be expected to carry out additional responsibilities that would usually be undertaken by a CKC member breeder, without certainty of their availability and expertise/training on healthy dog breeding practices.
    • Example: A cat or a dog kept as part of commercial breeding or raising operations must undergo a veterinary examination before breeding.
      • It is difficult for conscientious breeders to obtain, within a reasonable time, an appointment to do the health tests recommended by the breed clubs. Considering that purebred dogs represent a minority of the canine population, what will be the delay when all dogs produced in Quebec will have to have such a certification?
    • The proposed certification requirements are undefined. What criteria would a veterinarian use to approve a dog for breeding?
      • Does the dog have an OFA certificate?
      • Does the proposed pair have the right weight to determine the risks for the female dog?
      • Can the veterinarian certify that the proposed pair does not have a father-daughter inbreeding coefficient; or mother-son if the unregistered dog breeder has no records?
      • What health test is required for an unregistered dog?
    • Example: As soon as the animal reaches the age of 7 years, an annual veterinary examination is required if the animal continues to breed.
      • The certification is valid for up to 7 years. What do we do if there are changes in the interim?
      • How these requirements will be implemented and enforced?
  • Remove the choice for CKC member breeders who are experts on their breed to make decisions about practices and procedures based on breed-specific utility, to support the safety and welfare of their dogs in performance activities.
  • Discourage accountable CKC member breeders—the majority of which are small, home-based heritage breeders with difficult-to-meet restrictive measures.
  • Fail to address the management and traceability of mass-produced, unregistered dogs, sold without health tests, that have flooded the canine market in Quebec.
    • How will you track unregistered dogs from random sources as most are not microchipped, which is a legal requirement for purebred dogs in Canada?
Thank you for your support!

Amendments to the Regulation include:
  • A single regulation that would set out the minimum requirements for standards of care and breeding, for which there is already a framework. It replaces the Regulation respecting the safety and welfare of cats and dogs.
    • More specific standards that would regulate commercial breeding or breeding activities:
      • all dogs used for commercial breeding must undergo a vet exam before breeding
      • annual vet exam required for all dogs of 7 years of age and still used for breeding
      • prohibition on breeding parents and litter or between siblings
      • minimum age for dog breeding (18 months or as of the second estrus cycle or whichever comes first)
      • litter limits (max. number of litters for a female limited to 3 per 2 years)
      • specific care requirements re: separation periods at after mating, at birth time and between dam and litter
      • care requirements for those with 5 dogs or more on the premises
      • dog limits for commercial breeders: max number of cats/dogs over 6 months of age that may be kept on same premises or by same owner/custodian is 50 (5 years to comply)
    • prescriptive requirements on puppy care (socialization, exercise, containment, and restraint)
    • A ban on surgeries such as tail docking, ear cropping and declaw removal, unless medically necessary.
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