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October 23, 2013

Permit System for Quebec Commercial Breeders Needs Improvement

Funding also needed to help enforce new regulations

Humane Society International/Canada

  • A new permit system to regulate commercial breeders in Quebec needs strengthening. HSI/Canada

MONTREAL—The Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Deputy Premier François Gendron announced the adoption of new legislation to regulate commercial breeders and to help identify and shut down puppy mills. However, loopholes in the regulation, coupled with a lack of adequate funding for enforcement, may limit the effectiveness of the new permit scheme. Humane Society International/Canada calls on the Quebec government to address the weaknesses of the permit system and to provide adequate funding for enforcement.

Ewa Demianowicz, campaigner for HSI/Canada, said: “While we are pleased that the Quebec government is introducing a permit system, more rigorous standards are required to put puppy mills out of business and to protect animals from abusive living conditions. At a minimum, there should be mandatory inspections for breeders prior to issuing operating permits, as well as annual inspections for the renewal of permits.”

Also, with no limit on the number of animals kept in a facility, HSI/Canada urges an immediate cap of no more than 50 breeding animals. This will improve animal welfare and help to curb the problem of pet overpopulation. Inability to enforce animal protection laws in Quebec also is a serious issue, and the government should invest funds from permit system fees into enforcement measures. This will help SPAs and SPCAs operate effective investigation and inspection programs.  


  • Puppy mills are commercial breeding operations that put profits above animal welfare. Mother dogs are confined in barren enclosures and denied adequate food, water, veterinary care and socialization.
  • For the past five years, Quebec has ranked lowest of all Canadian provinces for its animal welfare legislation and received the dubious recognition as “best place in Canada to be an animal abuser.”
  • Quebec is known as the “puppy mill capital of Canada” with estimates of the number of mills ranging from hundreds to thousands.
  • Last month, HSI/Canada assisted the Montreal SPCA and Agriculture Quebec in the rescue of dogs from a commercial breeding facility in the Montérégie region south of Montreal. Since 2008, HSI/Canada has helped rescue more than 1,000 dogs from inhumane conditions in commercial breeding facilities across the province.

Media Contact: Christopher Paré, HSI/Canada:  514.395.2914; cpare@hsi.org


Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection with 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. On the Web at hsicanada.ca.

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