Ontario to introduce legislation in an effort to stamp out puppy mills

Puppy mill dog

Ontario is set to introduce new legislation today in an effort to stop puppy mills _ the first in a suite of animal protection measures it hopes to implement in the coming months.
    
Solicitor General Michael Kerzner says Ontario will become the first province to introduce minimum penalties for those caught operating puppy mills.
    
The province intends to make it illegal to inbreed, breed a female dog more than three times in a two-year period and breed a female dog younger than a year old.
    
The province will also make separating puppies from mothers before eight weeks of age illegal as well as make it illegal to keep breeding dogs in filthy environments.
    
Kerzner says the province also intends to develop record keeping to ensure dogs come from ethical breeders.
    
The province is also considering banning ``medically unnecessary'' procedures for dogs and cats such as declawing, debarking, tail docking and ear cropping.