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October 7, 2009

HSI Canada: MAPAQ Companion Animal Welfare Report a Positive Step Forward, but Lacking in Critical Area

Inadequate funding proposed for enforcement – HSI Canada identifies solution

Humane Society International/Canada

QUEBEC CITY — Humane Society International/Canada looks forward to reviewing the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation's plan to address Quebec's companion animal welfare problems, but is immediately concerned at the inadequate funding proposed for enforcement of animal welfare laws.

"Laws are meaningless without enforcement," stated Nik Gour, campaigner for HSI Canada. "Quebecers want to see stronger laws for animals, and our poll shows they overwhelmingly support contributing financially to the enforcement of those laws."

HSI/Canada has identified that a 1 percent surcharge on pet supplies sold in Quebec would generate several million dollars of revenue annually (for example, a $1.00 tin of cat food would increase to $1.01), which could be used to fund an enforcement program. To measure Quebec support for such a move, HSI Canada commissioned a poll by Leger Marketing in September 2009. The poll shows 73 percent of Quebecers support the proposed 1 percent surcharge on pet supplies to provide adequate funds for enforcement of animal welfare laws. The poll found a similar level of support for the surtax among both pet owners and those who do not own pets.

SPCAs and SPAs throughout Quebec have consistently identified inadequate funding as one of the greatest challenges for carrying out effective enforcement of animal welfare laws. Money is required to train and maintain enforcement staff, to remove animals from abusive situations and to provide shelter and veterinary care. This financial influx from a 1 percent surcharge, paired with existing resources, would provide the money needed for a strong animal welfare enforcement program.

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Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world's largest animal protection organizations — backed by 11 million people. For nearly 20 years, HSI has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide — On the web at hsi.org.

A total of 1,001 adult Canadians in Quebec answered an online survey about pet supplies sold in Quebec.

Fieldwork and data collection for this study was conducted between Sept. 14 and Sept. 16, 2009. The survey was conducted using a national random sample of 1,001 respondents from Leger Marketing's Web panel. This method simulates a probability sample which would yield a maximum margin of error of +/-3.1 percent, 19 times out of 20.

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