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CKC Encouraged by Recent Changes to PUPS Act


Bill 159, Preventing Unethical Puppy Sales Act (PUPS Act), 2023 received royal assent on June 6, 2024. The bill aims to reduce the prevalence of puppy mills and their associated harms on dogs. While CKC is in favour of measures that address unethical producers of dogs, we have consistently asserted that this law should not penalize accountable CKC breeders. We have met repeatedly with the Solicitor General’s staff numerous times over the past 8 months and have advocated that Bill 159 not use “one-size-fits-all” regulations that do not work for all dog breeds and do not take into account differences across breeds, genetics, and health status. Below are some recent updates regarding the Act.
 
  1. In response to CKC’s urging, the government removed the following provision that would have negatively impacted our members:

PROHIBITION OF PUPPY MILLS
Prohibition, puppy mills
23.2 (1) No person shall operate a puppy mill
Operating a puppy mill
(2)  For the purposes of this section, a person operates a puppy mill if the person breeds dogs and does any of the following:
1.  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.
 
The above provision has been replaced with an enforceable provision, which will address producers of unhealthy puppies (aka puppy mills):
 
OPERATION OF PUPPY MILLS
Operating a puppy mill
(2)  For the purposes of this section and section 23.3, a person operates a puppy mill if the person breeds dogs and does any of the following:
   1.  Failing to take appropriate action to address any severe matting, visible parasites, or emaciation in each dog.
   2.  Failing to isolate a dog from other dogs or animals, including failing to ensure there is no contact with objects, including food and water containers, that are used by other dogs or animals, where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the dog is suffering from a contagious disease or is at high risk of developing a contagious disease, except in such circumstances as may be prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
   3.  Failing to ensure that each dog’s environment is,
           i.  kept sufficiently clean as to ensure that the dog is not required to stand, sit, or lie down in excrement, urine, mud, or water, and
           ii  cleaned as frequently as necessary, using cleaning products that do not pose a risk to the dog, to prevent an accumulation of excrement, urine or other waste that would pose a risk to the dog’s health, to maintain a sanitary environment, to minimize the presence of parasites and to ensure the health of the dog.
 
From second reading to royal assent, the sections below were removed from ‘the definition of a Puppy Mill’ and will now be considered separate offenses of operating a puppy mill. We have asked that exceptions/exemptions be considered for CKC member breeders as our member breeders should not be considered “puppy mills” and these statements do not take into account for differences across different breeds, genetics and health status. The Solicitor General’s Office has included the following statements to allow for potential exceptions/exemptions at a future time.
  1. Separate offences
  1. Each contravention of a paragraph of subsection (2) is deemed to constitute a separate offence of operating a puppy mill.
  2. Breeding a female dog for the first time before its second heat, except in such circumstances as may be prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
  3. Breeding a parent dog with any dog in one of their litters, except in such circumstances as may be prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
  4. Breeding dogs that are siblings from the same parent dog, except in such circumstances as may be prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
  5. Separating a puppy from its mother or substitute mother before the age of 56 days, except in such circumstances as may be prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
Recently, numerous measures have been added to the PUPS Act, including “Prohibition and encouraging operation of a puppy millPower to make reasonable inquiries and Major offences (causing distress, permitting distress etc.).” We encourage you to view all amendments to Bill 159 for details about each section.
 
Now that the Bill has become law, the government will engage in an extensive stakeholder consultation process, and the feedback received will inform future regulations. Please note that some of the prohibitions proposed in this legislation are effective immediately, while others will come into force at later dates.

We are encouraged by the progress made so far and remain optimistic about additional changes in the months ahead. We will continue to meet with the Solicitor General’s office to advocate on your behalf throughout the regulatory consultation process. You may view the updated Bill 159 (PUPS Act) here
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