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Members Encouraged to Provide Input on New Ontario Bill to Target Producers of Unhealthy Dogs

The Government of Ontario has introduced legislation to help prevent producers of unhealthy puppies from proliferating in the province. Bill 159, Preventing Unethical Puppy Sales Act (PUPS Act), 2023, if passed, will amend the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act (PAWS Act), and serve to address substandard puppy producers, impose penalties and to support canine health and wellbeing.

The PUPS Act is now posted on Ontario’s Regulatory Registry (ORR). You can provide feedback via the following link: Preventing Unethical Puppy Sales Act, 2023 to Amend the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 ( which will be open for public comment until January 4th, 2024.

Proposed changes in the PUPS Act will prohibit dog-breeding practices most often associated with mass puppy producers/puppy mills and unscrupulous brokers:
  • 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

As part of the changes, the province plans to introduce minimum penalties of $10,000 for bad actors operating a puppy mill and $25,000 if these violations result in the death of a dog. The legislation will also support the development of regulations to set conditions that must be met when selling or transferring a dog and establish regulations for record-keeping.

The government also plans to consult on regulations relating to declawing, tail docking, ear cropping, and debarking, and establish a framework for administrative monetary penalties under the PAWS Act.

The Canadian Kennel Club has been in discussions with the Solicitor General’s office about the proposed legislation to ensure the interests of CKC member breeds are well represented. We will continue to work with the government to develop regulations that will target producers of dogs that place profit above the health dogs, without unduly burdening responsible breeders. Producers of unhealthy puppies may be small and high volume and we believe that mass producers of unhealthy puppies are inherently more of a risk to the health and well-being of dogs. CKC supports the responsible breeding of dogs by CKC member breeders who are bound by CKC bylaws, policies, procedures, Code of Practice for member breeders, Code of Ethics, and the requirements of the Animal Pedigree Act.  

CKC will continue to work with the Ontario government and consult with our membership, in support of responsible breeders and breeding practices and canine health and wellbeing. The full news release by the Ministry of the Solicitor General’s office can be viewed here.
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