Changes in Enforcing Animal Cruelty Laws

Changes are coming to how animal cruelty laws in Ontairo are enforced.

The agency which currently enforces it, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA), says it will no longer do it.

In a letter to the government this week, the OSPCA says it will not renew a contract with the province after it expires at the end of March and instead will shift its focus to a supporting role in animal cruelty investigations.

Speaking on The Afternoon News, Windsor-Essex County Humane Society Executive Director Melanie Coulter says the laws are still in place, but the main question is what agency will enforce it.

"That's where the question is going to be and some of it will be up to the government to respond and decide who they want to enforce cruelty legislation."

Coulter says the organization is still trying to figure out how the change will impact enforcement.

"It is a little bit of a surprise but it is definitely something that a lot of private organizations have been considering not just in Ontario but elsewhere," she says. Adding,  "Even if the police are involved with an animal cruelty case, they will still need support in terms of caring for the animal, providing veterinarian forensics that kind of thing, the OSPCA has expressed a strong willingness to continue to support and be part of those activities."

The OSPCA has been enforcing animal cruelty laws in Ontario for the past 100 years.


— With files from AM800's Patty Handysides