For immediate release
Press Release: MAPAQ continues to stab in the dark in matters of animal welfare.
Montreal, February 8th, 2013. Since 2008 SPA Canada has been campaigning tirelessly to outlaw puppy mills in Quebec. The province currently harbours some 2,000 establishments engaged in unregulated animal production, which makes it the unofficial “Canadian champion” of animal cruelty. Last year, in response to the demands of the population, MAPAQ (the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) passed a law on the sanitary protection of animals (p- 42), without, however, specifying any concrete means of enforcing it. The portion of this law which is certainly of most interest to advocates of animal rights is the Regulation for the security and welfare of cats and dogs. The ministry is now holding public conferences on the distribution of permits for dog and cat owners, in order to modify the law currently in effect. Owners of more than 15 animals (breeders, shelters, pounds, puppy mills, etc.) will be obligated by law to acquire a permit.
While we recognize the good intentions of MAPAQ in making permits mandatory, the ministry continues, as it always has, to avoid the real issue. The proposed regulation is inadequate in that it imposes no limit on the number of animals that an owner may possess, which will allow puppy mills to continue to proliferate. Also, the ministry does not intend to revoke the permits of breeders who violate the well-being of their animals, and the distribution of permits is not preceded by any kind of inspection. A permit system may seem like a step in the right direction, but it is utterly ineffectual when it comes to the issue at the root of the debate: animal overproduction.
According to Gabriel Villeneuve, campaign director for SPA Canada, it is imperative that the government deal with the problem of animal overproduction: ‘Imposing quotas on exploiters would solve part of the problem, but MAPAQ must absolutely prohibit the sale and possession of non-sterilized animals’. SPA Canada believes that it should be illegal for distributors to seek their supply outside of animal shelters; this would help counter overpopulation and would allow pounds to cease their habit of uselessly and excessively putting down perfectly healthy animals on the pretext of saving space.
About SPA Canada:
SPA Canada is a national nonprofit animal rights organization dedicated to creating awareness and educating people on respecting all animal species.
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