Media Releases

Animal Justice Applauds City of Winnipeg Proposal to Crack Down on Puppy Mills & Cruel Animal Traps

WINNIPEG—Animal Justice is applauding a proposed revamp of Winnipeg’s Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw. In recommendations released today, Winnipeg Animal Services is recommending important improvements to the Bylaw aimed at protecting companion animals and wildlife in the City of Winnipeg.

The recommendations being made to City Council include:

  • Permitting requirements for cat and dog breeders aimed at shutting down irresponsible breeders and limiting the size of cat and dog breeding operations;
  • Promoting spaying and neutering of cats and dogs to reduce pet overpopulation;
  • Creating stronger legal tools to prevent and respond to situations involving dogs left in hot cars;
  • Establishing standards for dog daycares;
  • Prohibiting 24/7 outdoor tethering of dogs; and
  • Prohibiting the outdoor use of body hold traps used to kill wildlife, as well as the outdoor use of cruel glue traps.

Today’s report is part of a progessive suite of changes under consideration by Winnipeg Animal Services. A key part of today’s recommendations relate to cat and dog breeders, and could require breeding permits aimed at ensuring proper veterinary oversight and proper living conditions, and restrictions on the number of litters an animal can be made to have.

“Winnipeg Animal Services should be commended for putting forward these vital recommendations to protect Winnipeg’s companion animals and wildlife,” said Kaitlyn Mitchell, Winnipeg-based staff lawyer with Animal Justice. “Irresponsible cat and dog breeders are a major problem in Manitoba and across Canada. These breeders contribute to the city’s cat and dog overpopulation problem, leading to unnecessary euthanasia and placing a burden on local animal rescue groups. They also commonly place profit over the well-being of the animals in their care.” 

The report also recommends a ban on the outdoor use of lethal body hold traps that cause tremendous suffering in animals, including companion dogs who have died excruciating deaths after being inadvertently caught. Banning the outdoor use of glue traps would also be an important step toward protecting wildlife, including mice, birds, and other small animals, from horrific suffering.

“Wild animals deserve our compassion and respect,” said Mitchell. “Both glue traps and lethal body hold traps are horrendously cruel and cause unnecessary, prolonged suffering in target and non-target animals trapped. The proposed ban on the outdoor use of these traps would go a long way toward making Winnipeg ‘one great city’ not only for its human residents, but for its wild animal inhabitants as well. Ultimately, the City should go further and ban the use of glue traps entirely.”

The recommendations from Winnipeg Animal Services will be considered by City Council on January 14, 2022.  

A second set of recommendations related to the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw—including proposals related to the keeping of pit bull-type dogs, exotic animal ownership, and urban chicken keeping—is expected to be put forward for consideration by City Council this spring.  Animal Justice supports the City’s proposals to regulate the keeping of exotic animals and to eliminate the unscientific ban on pit bull type dogs, but opposes any proposals to allow the keeping of chickens in City limits due to risks to the health and well-being of the animals and the burden that urban chicken keeping places on local animal shelters.


The January 20, 2022 report released by Winnipeg Animal Services can be found here.
A public engagement summary can be found here

For more information, contact:
Kaitlyn Mitchell
Staff Lawyer
[email protected]