After public outcry and strongly worded criticisms Jack MacLaren of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario has withdrawn private members Bill 37 but is now introducing The Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 2012 in its place.
Like its predecessor this new Act would gut animal cruelty laws and enforcement mechanisms in Ontario.
Jack MacLaren, MPP for Carleton-Mississippi Mills, on his website www.fixtheospca.ca has outlined the effects of the proposed Act as follows:
- Separate the inspections to ensure animal welfare against abuse into (a) farm animal inspections and (b) non-farm animal inspections
- Farm inspections shall be carried out by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
- Non-farm animal inspections shall be carried out by the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA)
- OMAFRA & OSPCA Inspection officers will be the first response to complaints and will be limited to observation, advisement, education, and writing reports on visits made.
- Inspectors will no longer have the power of a police officer and will not be able to inspect without the permission of the land owner.
- Enforcement will be done by the OPP or local police force ONLY after abuse has been substantiated and reported on by the inspectors. Police force enforcement to stop actual abuse should be few and far between.
- Abused animal removal will only be done with the recommendation of a veterinarian and sanctioned by a justice of the peace
- OSPCA will no longer be able to invoice animal owners
- Only the police will be able to lay charges under the Provincial Offences Act or the Criminal Code of Canada.
The proposed Act can be downloaded in its entirety here: http://www.fixtheospca.ca/images/stories/ThePreventionofCrueltytoAnimalsAct2012finaldraft.pdf
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