A step in the right direction

As many animal lovers already know, the OSPCA are no longer enforcing animal welfare legislation. Naturally, when this was announced back in March, a lot of questions were asked. Most importantly, who was now going to be responsible for enforcing animal welfare in Ontario?

Well last week, Ontario’s Solicitor General announced a temporary solution for animal welfare concerns in Ontario. From June 29, 2019 to December 31, 2019, a new interim model will be in effect. It includes:

  • A new toll-free phone number for the public to call should they have concerns regarding the welfare of an animal: 1-833-9ANIMAL (1-833-926-4625)
  • An interim chief inspector who will be appointed by the Solicitor General. The interim chief inspector will provide leadership on animal protection in Ontario
  • New temporary animal welfare inspectors. Many of these inspectors will be from humane societies and SPCA’s. All will be appointed by the chief inspector.

A team of inspectors – appointed by the chief inspector – will be responsible for animal protection in the province, bringing with them a wide range of expertise, from livestock and agriculture, horses, and zoos and aquariums. Inspectors employed by local humane societies and/or SPCAs will also be appointed by the province to continue delivering enforcement services.

“This is a good first step towards what we all hope will be a permanent solution. We will continue to work with the Ontario government in every way we can to ensure all animals are being protected,” said Jacques Messier, Toronto Humane Society’s CEO.

As the Ontario government has mentioned, this is only a temporary model. They understand how important animal protection is and don’t want to rush the process. In a statement from the Ministry of the Solicitor General, it’s emphasized that developing a new model for animal protection cannot be rushed and is “too important not to get right.”

For now, the public can report animal welfare concerns by calling 1-833-9ANIMAL (1-833-926-4625). Calls will be triaged and dispatched for response by the most appropriate local entity.

For more information on the matter, you can visit the Government of Ontario’s website here.