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North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite is joined by pet owners and their dogs at the Legislative Assembly on April 23
NEWS RELEASE · 23rd April 2012
BC Liberal Caucus
North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite has introduced a Private Member’s Bill that will target puppy and kitty mills while protecting legitimate breeders and future pet owners. The bill, Standards of Care for Breeders of Companion Animals, is intended to outline specific requirements for dog and cat breeders in B.C. to ensure the welfare of their animals.

Why this matters:

• This legislation will increase public awareness about the standards of care that dog and cat breeders must adhere to.

• The bill declares that breeders of three or more female dogs or cats capable of reproduction will be required not only to understand, but meet, the standards of care in handling and breeding their animals.

• Operators that fail to comply with the legislation will be subject to punishment under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

• There are currently non-mandatory regulations for breeders. This legislation implements mandatory regulations for animal care.

• According to a 2007 Ipsos Reid survey, 38 per cent of Canadian households have a pet cat while 35 per cent have a dog. This bill will provide a measure of protection to owners by ensuring that their dogs and cats were bred in a healthy and humane manner.

“This bill outlines the expectations of dog and cat breeders in B.C. It declares that pets are not merely a source of income, but rather loving, living creatures that deserve to be treated in a safe and humane manner. I would like to acknowledge the valuable contributions and input from veterinarians and local animal welfare organizations. Without their knowledge, advice and support, this bill would not have been possible.” North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite

“I want to commend my colleague, the member for North Vancouver-Seymour, for bringing forward this Private Member's Bill. This bill is something for which I have advocated since my early years in veterinary college as it will greatly enhance protection for cats and dogs used for breeding purposes.” Hon. Dr. Terry Lake, DVM, Minister of Environment, Chair of the Sled Dog Task Force

“By introducing this bill for consideration, Ms. Thornthwaite has taken a very positive step to try to eliminate the unscrupulous breeding of dogs and cats within our province. British Columbians who value animals should be heartened by her efforts.” Carol Morgan, DVM, CVMA representative on the Sled Dog Task Force

“PIJAC Canada supports this bill and applauds this initiative as it will ultimately result in healthier, better socialized dogs made available to people of British Columbia. Our association recognizes the need to address the issue of substandard breeding operations. We appreciate the fact that this bill seeks to protect both the breeding stock and their progeny. In setting a template for proper veterinary care and husbandry, proper record keeping and proper socialization this bill addresses key components of a blueprint that will result in healthier, happier pets.” Louis McCann, Executive Director of PIJAC Canada

“This bill contains a number of excellent provisions to improve standards for companion animal breeding and the BC SPCA fully supports this effort to raise the level of animal welfare in B.C. However, legislation is only effective if it can be enforced. We hope that the adoption of any new regulations would be accompanied by government funding for enforcement, as these resources are critical if the legislation is to have any impact.” Craig Daniell, Chief Executive Officer for the BC SPCA

Additional Information:

• This legislation was developed in close consultation with veterinarians and animal welfare advocates.

• Preparation of the bill included careful review of existing legislation and research from within Canada (ex. Manitoba and New Brunswick), the United States (ex. Texas) and internationally (ex. New Zealand and Ireland).

• The legislation outlines the requirements for breeding dogs and cats in the following areas:
o Food and water;
o Containment and shelter;
o Sanitation;
o Breeding;
o Whelping;
o Supply of animals;
o Socialization of animals;
o Illness or injury;
o Harmful substances;
o Transportation;
o Euthanasia;
o Grooming;
o Surgical procedures;
o Required records;
o Offenses; and
o Penalties.