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June 28, 2012

HSI/Canada Commends Quebec Government on New Amendments to Animal Health Protection Act

Humane Society International/Canada

  • HSI/Canada will continue to work with local and federal authorities to improve welfare standards for animals. Viorel Sima/shutterstock

MONTREAL— Humane Society International/Canada welcomes the adoption of Bill 51, an act to amend the Quebec Animal Health Protection Act, which will improve the safety and welfare standards of companion animals in the Province. The new legislation comes on the heels of the recent rescue of 64 dogs from a commercial breeding operation east of Montréal by the Quebec government with the assistance of HSI/Canada.

“The higher fines and new provincial regulatory powers with the adoption of Bill 51 are a leap forward in protecting companion animals in the Province of Quebec. We hope further measures will be taken by the Quebec government, such as mandatory jail time for repeat offenders,” said Ewa Demianowicz, campaigner for Humane Society International/Canada. “As highlighted in the recent dog rescue, stronger provincial laws and enforcement are needed to make sure companion animals are not forced to live in horrible conditions.”

Following special consultations and public hearings by Agriculture Quebec, in which HSI/Canada participated in, the final version of the Bill reinforces the Animal Health Protection Act, and aims to improve the welfare of companion animals in Quebec in the following key areas:

  • Offenders will now receive higher fines, ranging from $600 to $25,000.  In cases of repeat offences, fines can be as high as $75,000. However, Quebec is still one of the few provinces not to have mandatory jail time for repeat offences or serious cases of animal cruelty.
  • For repeat or serious offences, there may be a prohibition on owning animals for an unlimited period of time, whereas the prohibition was previously limited to 2 years.
  • The Quebec government has new regulating powers concerning euthanasia and sterilization practices for commercial breeding operations.
  • Breeders, shelters and pounds with more than 15 animals will now require a permit to operate. However, regulations will still need to be created by the provincial government before this system comes into effect, and unfortunately smaller commercial breeders (less than 15 animals) will not be subject to the permit system. There is also no limit on the number of animals or breeds that can be confined in a commercial breeding operation.

Since September 2011, the HSI Animal Rescue team has assisted the Quebec government in the rescue of more than 700 neglected dogs from inhumane conditions at commercial breeding operations throughout the Province.

HSI/Canada calls on the Quebec government to swiftly regulate and enforce the adoption of Bill 51 – and work towards addressing animal welfare concerns relating mandatory jail time for serious cases of animal cruelty and cap on the number of animals and breeds of a commercial breeding operation.

Media Contacts:

Dean Pogas: 514.261.6007/514.395.2914; dpogas@humanesociety.org   

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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 11 million members and constituents globally—on the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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