January 11, 2019 3:44 pm

Quebec moves to expand animal welfare laws to cover dozens of species

Thor, a Welsh pony, waits out the storm in snow-covered pastures. The Quebec government is moving to vastly expand the scope of its animal welfare legislation to offer increased protection to species ranging from horses and mink to ostriches and turkeys.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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The Quebec government is moving to vastly expand the scope of its animal welfare legislation to offer increased protection to species ranging from horses and mink to ostriches and wild turkeys.

The draft regulation published this week would require fox and mink farms and stables with 15 or more horses to meet the same welfare standards as dog and cat breeding operations.

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Under the proposed rules, owners of these farms and stables would have to obtain a permit from the Agriculture Department and submit to regular inspections.

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The proposed legislation also outlines care standards that would apply to dozens of other species including bison, deer, boar, ostriches, wild turkeys and some species of fish.

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People raising these animals would not need a permit, but they would have to respect rules concerning cleanliness, living space, safety, access to food and water.

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They would also have to follow procedures to isolate animals that are sick or giving birth.

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The agriculture department estimates the proposed rules would affect about 1,200 businesses, with compliance costing a total of up to $3.3 million in the first year.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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