An ArmchairMayor editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
OUR FUZZY FRIENDS received some good news Monday with the introduction of amendments to B.C.’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act regulating commercial breeders.
B.C. SPCA CEO Craig Daniell calls the legislation an “important step towards the creation of an inspection system for dog and cat breeders in B.C.”
Premier Christy Clark announced the government’s intentions last week, and Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick officially moved on the bill Monday.
It’s unfortunate that such legislation is needed, but it is. Only a couple of weeks ago, SPCA officials seized 70 animals — 56 cats, 12 dogs and two puppies — from a breeding and boarding facility in Surrey, and shortly before that, 66 dogs were seized from a Langley puppy mill.
Reports said that in the latter case some of the dogs had broken limbs, missing ears and were malnourished. One was missing an eye.
Puppy mills are the scourge of the pet industry. To be sure, there are many reputable breeders who love their animals, care for them, and make sure they’re healthy and happy. But some, attracted by the $1,000 price tag that’s typical for puppies these days, don’t rely on a solid reputation; rather, they look for a quick buck and non-repeat customers.
Details of the licensing/registration system covered off in the amendments haven’t been defined yet, but the bill includes provision for:
• an external agency, designated by future regulation, to administer the system
• the agency’s inspectors will be responsible for inspecting and enforcing relevant standards of care
• inspectors will be able to apply for a warrant to enter a residence, if the owner’s consent is not provided
• breeders found to be engaging in irresponsible practices may be subject to administrative actions, including having their license or registration suspended or cancelled
• operators will be able to request a review or reconsideration of the administrative actions taken against them.
As Clark said earlier, “We love our pets” and they need our protection.