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May 12, 2011

Regroupement pour la Protection des Animaux du Québec (R-PAQ) Calls for Urgent Transition Away from For-Profit Pounds in Montréal

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Hoping for a home. Ebru Baraz/istock

MONTRÉAL—Regroupement pour la Protection des Animaux du Québec called for an urgent transition away from for-profit pounds in the city of Montréal and its boroughs at a news conference Thursday. Recently, the Mauvais Berger exposé on Radio Canada’s Enquête, which involved Québec’s largest for-profit animal control facility, revealed horrifying treatment and euthanasia methods of their impounded animals.

“The Radio-Canada investigation of Berger Blanc has finally brought to light the underlying problems with the way in which we treat companion animals in this province,” said Alanna Devine, director of Animal Advocacy for the Montréal SPCA. “This is an opportunity for the city of Montréal and the Province of Québec to take tangible measures to transform our approach to animal control that has failed to protect animals and citizens alike.”

“Montréal’s current inadequate animal services program directly sacrifices animal welfare for profits,” said Lauren Scott, campaigner for Humane Society International/Canada. “There has been a clear failure by the Québec and municipal governments to allocate the necessary funds for adequate care of our companion animals. Montréal is spending only a fraction of what comparable Canadian centers are investing in animal services—and it is the animals who are paying the price.”

“As a veterinarian, I was horrified to see the serious level of animal suffering recently exposed by the Radio-Canada investigation of Berger Blanc,” said Dr. Judith Weissman at Clinique Vétérinaire Plateau Mont Royal. “A shift away from the for-profit animal control model is urgently needed to ensure adequate standards of animal welfare in Montréal and throughout Québec, and the people of Québec need to do their part and realize that owning a pet is a long-term contract.”

Regroupement pour la Protection des Animaux du Québec is an umbrella organization comprised of leading animal welfare organizations, community groups, legal experts, veterinarians and other stakeholders who have united in order to address the current crisis situation as well as the fundamental problems regarding companion animals and “animal control” in the Province of Québec.

R-PAQ’s mission is to transform animal control in Québec. It calls for a move from enforcement to prevention, from “animal control” to “animal services,” in an effort to break the cycle of unwanted, surplus companion animals, to make more effective use of citizens’ tax dollars, and to reform legislation at every level.

R-PAQ’s objective is to partner with other like-minded organizations, and local/provincial governments to overhaul the costly, ineffective and reactive system that underlies the pound system in Québec. R-PAQ advocates the province-wide adoption of municipality-funded animal service programs which are based on humane ethics, as well as public health and safety, and community responsibility.

Members of R-PAQ include:

  • Humane Society International/Canada
  • Montréal SPCA
  • Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Québec
  • Animal Alliance of Canada
  • Association of Animal Health Technicians of Québec
  • Citoyens Responsables de leurs Animaux de Compagnie
  • Isabelle Poitras L.L.B
  • Dr. Judith Weissmann D.M.V

For-profit pounds in Québec actually benefit from pet overpopulation, which increases the number of animals entering their facilities and ensures a constant source of income. The city of Montréal is suffering from a marked increase in unwanted companion animals, with at least 50,000 animals taken into animal shelters and rescues each year (or around 30 per 1,000 people, which is much higher than other Canadian cities such as Edmonton at 15 per 1,000 people).

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Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI/Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International—one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than ten million members and constituents globally—on the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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