The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Bits

I love crisp cold mornings like this!     Really, what is not to love?   Once we are all bundled up with boots and coats, we can actually enjoy our morning walkabout in the woods.   Even better, on a blue sky day like this there has been nothing to wash away all the tantalizing scents that the dogs love to savour along the way.

Best of all of course is the sure knowledge that when our hike is done that we can go back to the house and savour some of the other country comforts winter has to offer, such as a cheerful cozy fire 🙂

Yesterday the long-awaited Regulations for the Animal Protection Act were released to the public!    What do I think?

Well coming out of the gate, it does have to be said that this is the first government to actually try to deliver on their promise to provide better protection for animals in this province.    Does that mean that I agree with the whole kit and kaboodle?   No .. but we will get to that later.

The Good:

  • I do like the General Standards of Care!    While it might seem like stating the obvious to most kind-hearted pet owners that a pet needs to have clean, unfrozen water/ enough food / clean dishes / grooming and nail clipping / etc , there does need to be an actual benchmark that can be applied for enforcement purposes.    I REALLY like clause 4 about collars … especially item d that specifies that it must not cause trauma or injury to the animal.
  • I also like the Standards of Care for transporting animals!    It is simply one of the most sensible summaries I have ever seen on the subject!    Bonus points to the Minister for providing the authority for peace officers and inspectors to remove animals in distress from a vehicle using all necessary steps .. up to and including breaking into the vehicle.
  • and I really do like the Certificate of Health on sale of an animal requirement.     To be perfectly honest, we all know that there will be some backyard breeders who will find a way to circumvent it 😦    But the requirement should serve as a bit of a public education service at the very least
  • as a sidebar note, I do like that there is a forum of stakeholders who will meet annually with the Minister to provide feedback 🙂

The Bad:

Clearly much time was spent determining the appropriate Standards of Care for animals outdoors.    Why does that distress me?    Should there not be standards for shelter?   Shade?   Leash lengths?   Weather?  Have advocates not been working all along for better living conditions?   Is proper shelter NOT the road to success?    Only if one is prepared to dismiss the documented evidence of the mental stress that chained and penned pack animals must endure in their solitude!   At the end of the day,no matter how fancy the digs,  a chained or penned dog is still living in mental distress.

The Ugly:

Straight, sweet and simple … the twelve-hour time limit!   And … before the keyboards catch on fire ….  when animal advocates were doing their research, they quickly learned that a twelve-hour time limit has proven to be unenforceable in other jurisdictions.   Nor, I might add, is clause 7 item 4 enforceable either without 24 hour surveillance 😦    (if an animal is left in a pen for more than 12 hours out of 24, that they must have ‘time out of the pen to allow for exercise, socialization and from inclement weather’)    Here in the real world, how could that possibly be enforced?

Right up there with that is the horrible fact that no one in the Minister’s Department felt any need to make it illegal to shoot a dog.     So as of this writing, it is still perfectly legal to tie the family pet up to a tree, dig a hole and shoot them 😦     Anyone who thinks that I am kidding should wander back down memory lane on Facebook and find the story of the Nova Scotia man who could not be convicted for shooting his own dog as it was deemed a legally humane way to kill the family pet 😦

What time is it?    It is always time to praise a step forward.    But it is also time to remember that these  regulations will best protect the animals if they are treated as ongoing living documents!

PS …  yes I do love that the regulations include the word cat 🙂

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