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Media Advisory: Animal Justice Lawyers In Court for Appeal in Case that Struck Down Ontario SPCA Law Enforcement Powers

Animal Justice September 30, 2019

TORONTO—National animal law organization Animal Justice will intervene tomorrow in an appeal of the legal challenge that struck down the Ontario SPCA’s enforcement authority. In Bogaerts v. Attorney General of Ontario 2019 ONSC 41, Justice Minnema of the Superior Court of Justice declared that it is unconstitutional for the Ontario SPCA—as a private charity not subject to reasonable oversight measures—to enforce… Read more » Animal Justice

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Here’s How to Help Animals with the New Ontario Animal Protection Survey

Animal Justice May 31, 2019

Everything is about to change for animal protection in Ontario. In March 2019, the Ontario SPCA announced it will no longer enforce animal cruelty laws in the province and is putting this public responsibility back in the hands of the government, where it belongs. The Ontario government is now surveying the public to help decide how… Read more » Animal Justice

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OSPCA Withdraws From Enforcing Animal Cruelty Laws

Animal Justice March 4, 2019

The Ontario SPCA has announced that it will withdraw from enforcing animal protection laws in the province of Ontario as of March 31, when its current funding agreement with the province expires.

While many animal lovers may be concerned by this news, and fear that it will be bad for animals, Animal Justice is applauding the Ontario SPCA for this bold move. We believe it will prompt the government to create a new, stronger, public enforcement system that will be better-equipped to protect animals from cruelty and suffering.

What’s the problem? First, animal law enforcement is woefully underfunded. The Ontario SPCA is not a government agency—it is a private charity. The Ontario SPCA is expected to enforce publicly-enacted animal protection laws in the province, and responds to nearly 16,000 animal welfare complaints each year, province-wide. But the agency receives less than $6 million from the provincial government to carry out its important work, and is forced to fundraise so it can afford to enforce public laws, run shelters, and care for animals. The funding provided to the Ontario SPCA represents a mere 0.001% of the $4.4 billion in public money that is spent on policing in Ontario every year, and the agency is ill-equipped to carry out its mandate. There are more fare inspectors working at the Toronto Transit Commission than there are animal welfare inspectors in the entire province.

Second, many people have questioned whether it is appropriate in 2019 for a private charity to enforce public laws. The Ontario SPCA is not subject to freedom of information laws, police accountability legislation, and other oversight mechanisms that apply to virtually all other law enforcement agencies. In January 2019, an Ontario judge ruled that giving police powers to a private body without transparency and accountability is unconstitutional. Animal Justice intervened in the case in support of the court’s decision, because we believe transparency and accountability are important to making sure animal cruelty offences are investigated and addressed. The case is now being appealed.

Animal Justice believes it is time for a new system, and the Ontario SPCA’s move should prompt the government to implement a well-funded, public law enforcement regime. Caring for animals is a public responsibility, and the government needs to step up and properly fund this vital area of our legal system so that vulnerable animals in our society have strong protections from from cruelty and neglect.

The Ontario SPCA decision will not leave animals unprotected in Ontario. Police officers have always had the authority to enforce federal and provincial animal cruelty laws, and have often done so despite the Ontario SPCA’s overlapping authority. The Ontario SPCA has also offered to continue to provide enforcement services for a three-month transition period, until the end of June 2019.

The private, SPCA enforcement model is a quirk of history, and occurs in virtually no other area of the law. When early animal cruelty laws were enacted in the 1800s in England, most prosecutions were done privately by aggrieved individuals. The Royal SPCA formed to ensure animal laws were enforced, as animals were unable to prosecute cases on their own, and the SPCA enforcement model spread throughout Commonwealth countries.

Other provinces have already moved away from private animal law enforcement. The Edmonton Humane Society announced in January 2019 that it would end enforcement, concluding that it is no longer appropriate for a donation-supported body to fulfill a public enforcement function. Manitoba animal protection laws are primarily enforced by the office of the Chief Veterinary Officer, a public agency. In Newfoundland, the police enforce animal protection laws.

Animal Justice is committed to working with the Ontario SPCA and the province to examine the best options for a strong new enforcement system that puts animals’ interests first. We will keep you updated on future developments, and for ways you can help.

 

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  • Cash

    by on July 25, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Hi SCARS! I thought I'd give you a little update on my boy. Thanks to you, it’s been five unforgettable years with this guy. In five short years, Cash has moved nine times across three provinces, has charmed everyone he’s met, and has probably eaten about 15lbs of butter off my counter. And counting.

    The post Cash appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • The Latest: Iran says Saudis release tanker after 2 ½ months

    by on July 20, 2019 - 0 Comments

    The Latest: Iran says Saudis release tanker after 2 ½ monthsIran's semi-official Mehr news agency is reporting that Saudi Arabia has released an Iranian oil tanker after two and a half months. Happyness 1, belonging to the Iranian National Tanker Company (NITC), which was carrying over 1 million barrels of fuel oil, suffered a malfunction in the Red Sea off the coast of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia on April 30. Mehr said Saudi officials had prevented the oil tanker from leaving the Jeddah port despite the fact that Iran had paid all the costs of maintenance and repair that the Saudi authorities had demanded.


    Animal and Pet News

  • Angie (formerly Harper)

    by on July 25, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Hello SCARS! We got Angie, formerly Harper, at a SCARS event almost seven years ago in St. Albert. She was one of several from the same litter. Angie is a very gentle, polite and loving dog. She is a favourite in four stores in town where they give her treats. Often she will not

    The post Angie (formerly Harper) appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Sadie (formerly June)

    by on July 18, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Hi SCARS, Last September we adopted our first Rescue pup from you. At the time she was named June. We had just lost our dog to old age and quickly realized that we needed to have a dog in our life. I hopped onto your site and saw June and instantly fell in love

    The post Sadie (formerly June) appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Kitten in a boat

    by on August 15, 2019 - 0 Comments

    This is a short story about how we decided to huddle into a boat and start sailing Alberta! Maybe while you are reading this, we will inspire you to want to adopt a travelling kitten!! Some of you may think we are crazy little creatures who decided to suffer the stormy terrain, long drives

    The post Kitten in a boat appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

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