Sault Ste. Marie just passed a progressive new animal care and control by-law that will mean greater protections for animals. Among other things, the by-law enhances animal care standards, bans circuses from using live animals in performances, and prohibits new zoos from operating in the City.
No More Animals in Entertainment
Sault Ste. Marie is the first Canadian city to take the huge step forward and ban keeping animals captive in zoos. Unfortunately, the only zoo in the City—the notorious Spruce Haven Zoo—has been exempted from the ban by a vote of 6-5, but the by-law will still prevent new zoos from popping up in the future.
Last year, Prince Edward Island became the first province to restrict the use of exotic animals in circuses. Now, Sault Ste. Marie is following suit, banning circuses and events in which any animal is required to perform for the entertainment of an audience. Unfortunately, equestrian shows, dog and cat shows, horseracing, sled dog racing, and aquarium displays are exempt, but the City still deserves some credit for the changes.
Some other highlights of the comprehensive new animal care and control by-law include:
- New animal welfare rules, including a ban on collars that may restrict an animal’s ability to breathe or swallow.
- Mandatory sterilization of cats over 6 months of age.
- A requirement that animals be kept on premises that are free from unsanitary conditions that may disturb the enjoyment or comfort of the animal, or that may endanger the health of the animal.
Animal Justice celebrates this leap forward for animals in Sault Ste. Marie, and urges other municipalities to follow suit.
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