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May 19, 2011

HSI Demands Government Action as Quebec is Ranked Worst Province for Animals

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Thousands of dogs suffer in puppy mills across Canada. The HSUS

MONTREAL—Humane Society International/Canada is calling on the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec to take immediate action after a recent report by the Animal Legal Defense Fund ranked Quebec as the worst province for animal protection in Canada. HSI Canada urges MAPAQ to take concrete steps at an upcoming provincial taskforce meeting on May 27 to improve animal welfare regulations in Quebec.

"Three years ago the Charest government, in the lead-up to a provincial election, pledged to address the animal welfare crisis in Quebec," said Lauren Scott, campaigner for HSI Canada. "Today, countless numbers of animals continue to suffer severe neglect and abuse in our province because of the failure by our government to act.”

This is the fourth year that the Animal Legal Defense Fund has released its “Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings” report which compares the animal protection laws of each jurisdiction. Since 2008, Quebec has been on a steady decline to the bottom—this year ranked as the worst province in Canada. The report’s ranking of Quebec as the “best province to be an animal abuser” underscores the urgent need for action.

In 2008, HSI Canada joined forces with the Montreal SPCA to rescue more than 330 dogs from Quebec puppy mills. The dogs were found emaciated and dehydrated, without adequate access to food, water and veterinary care, some dying in their cages. The public outcry that resulted compelled the Charest government in 2009 to establish a special taskforce to improve legislation and enforcement in Quebec. Unfortunately, three years later, the Quebec public has yet to see tangible improvements to the Quebec Animal Welfare Act (P-42). In contrast, British Columbia introduced improvements to its animal protection regulations within months earlier this year.

On May 27, the provincial taskforce will meet, at which time MAPAQ is expected to announce its proposed measures to improve animal welfare regulations in Quebec. HSI Canada eagerly awaits the meeting to hear how MAPAQ will crack down on inhumane operations including puppy mills and for-profit pounds such as Berger Blanc in Quebec. To improve Quebec’s animal welfare ranking, these measures must at the very least include larger minimum cage sizes and daily exercise for animals, and strict humane euthanasia guidelines. At the meeting, MAPAQ should announce a strict timeline for broader improvements to P-42 such as strong penalties for animal abusers and increased enforcement capacity in Quebec. HSI Canada also expects MAPAQ to announce significantly increased funding for SPCAs to ensure that these measures can be implemented.

HSI Canada is calling on its members, and the Quebec public, to contact Pierre Corbeil, Minister of Agriculture, prior to the May 27th meeting, to demand the Quebec government adopts strong animal welfare policies.

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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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