Every cat and dog breeder in B.C. will need to be licenced under new regulations announced by Premier Christy Clark on Monday.
The premier said the government and the BC SPCA will develop new laws to monitor all breeders and to take action against irresponsible ones.
The regulations will recognize the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Code of Practice for cat and dog breeders.
The Code of Practice includes areas such as housing, ventilation, food and water, care and supervision, record-keeping, behavioural needs, socialization and transportation, and specifically notes:
- If a dog is sick, injured, in pain, or suffering, prompt and adequate veterinary care must be provided; and for cats, veterinary care is provided at the first indication that the animal is not well
- Cleaning and sanitizing should be carried out daily
- Minimal spacing for dogs and cats (1.1 to 2.2 square metres depending on the dog’s size, and 1.5 square metres for cats)
- Written procedures for care should be posted so that they are available to personnel at all times
Clark said the BC SPCA will also have more opportunities to be proactive as regular inspections are incorporated into the licencing process.
The government has begun consultations with the BC SPCA to develop the new laws and will contribute ideas on:
- Required licencing and or registration to operate as a breeder
- Possible proactive monitoring and enforcement of commercial cat and dog breeders
- Finding sources that could be used to support enhanced and more proactive enforcement by the BC SPCA
- The consultations will take place over spring, 2016, with legislation anticipated in 2017
“Animal cruelty is unacceptable,” said Clark. “Today we’re taking another step towards stopping those cat and dog breeders who don’t provide adequate care. Together with the BC SPCA and key stakeholders, we will develop a system that supports responsible pet breeders in B.C., and targets the ones that aren’t.”
The announcement comes on the heels of two recent major animal seizures in the Lower Mainland.
On Feb. 16, BC SPCA officials took 70 animals from a breeding and boarding facility in Surrey after a vet deemed they were all in distress.
On Feb. 4, the BC SPCA took 66 dogs into its care after seizing them from a Langley puppy mill.
The BC SPCA says they are looking for cash donations, volunteers, and potential foster homes for the animals. Those interested can email Eileen Drever at email@example.com.