The Animal Protection Act prohibits persons from causing an animal to be or to continue to be in distress, including persons who are the owner or the person in charge of an animal. However, this prohibition does not apply if the distress results from an activity carried on in accordance with reasonable and generally accepted practices of animal management, husbandry or slaughter provided that these practices are carried out in a humane manner.
Distress is defined as the state of (a) being in need of proper care, food, shelter or water, (b) being injured, sick or in pain or suffering, or
(c) being abused or subject to undue or unnecessary hardship, privation or neglect.
The Act also outlines the power of peace officers to seize animals in distress as well as those powers of humane societies to provide care for such animals. Pursuant to the Act, the term “animal” includes mammals, birds and fish, but does not include wildlife; “wildlife” means any vertebrate animal of any species that is wild by nature in the Yukon.