Animal Health And Protection (Neglect And Abuse)
Animal Health And Protection (Neglect And Abuse) CALL 311
Domestic animals in this province are protected by both federal and provincial laws. The primary piece of federal legislation is the Criminal Code of Canada, which applies to wilful acts of cruelty or neglect. Section 264.1 covers threats conveyed to a person to kill, injure or poison an animal. Sections 444 to 447 address cruelty directly, and are contained in the Part XI "Willful and Forbidden Acts in Respect of Certain Property”.
The provincial legislation protecting domestic animals is the Animal Health and Protection Act, with its 8 sets of accompanying regulations. They came into effect May 2, 2012.
The regulations governing care and humane treatment of animals are:
- the Animal Protection Regulations,
- the Animal Protection Standards Regulations and
- the Animal Health and Protection Ticket Offences Regulations.
Who can be appointed as inspectors under the new Act?
Section 68 of the Animal Health and Protection Act (AHPA) provides for the appointment of inspectors by the Minister of Natural Resources to enforce provisions of the Act and its regulations. It also designates members of the RCMP and RNC as inspectors. The Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) and staff veterinarians are designated as well. Under Section 77 a municipal authority may be designated by the minister to administer provisions of the Act.
To be considered for appointment as an inspector under Section 68, one must be an employee of a municipality, or work as a Conservation Officer within the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency of the Department of Natural Resources. Once someone has met one of these criteria, and completed the required animal protection enforcement training, he/she may be appointed as an inspector by the Minister of Natural Resources.
Municipally appointed inspectors have authority within their respective municipal jurisdictions, or region, if there is regional cooperation between municipalities, to enforce the provincial animal protection law for companion animals. Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers across the province have authority to do animal protection enforcement for farm animals.
The City of St. John’s has 3 trained Provincial Inspectors
Will those enforcing the Animal Health and Protection Act receive proper training?
The Department of Natural Resources, through the Animal Health Division of the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency, has put significant time and resources into developing a comprehensive training program for new inspectors. The courses have already been delivered to several municipal employees. Further training for additional municipalities which would like to enforce the Act will take place. Approximately 45 Conservation Officers working across the province have been fully trained and appointed to enforce the laws for farm animals.
Training is ongoing. Contact is maintained with inspectors and opportunities are identified for short updates or roundtable discussions, as well as continuing education options.
How do I report a suspected case of animal cruelty or neglect?
For small companion animals (primarily dogs and cats), reports can be made to municipal enforcement authorities operating within St. John’s, Mount Pearl, CBS, Wabana, Carbonear, Placentia, Gander and Lab City. If you live in any of these municipalities, please check with your town office for more details. Reports can also be made to your local RNC or RCMP Detachment or Crime Stoppers.
For farm animals (including horses) reports may be made to the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer by calling 709.729.6879 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Conservation Officers working in the Department of Natural Resources can then conduct a proper investigation. For urgent matters, please contact your local RNC or RCMP Detachment.
For additional information please visit Access St. John's
Where 311 is unavailable, call 709-754-CITY (2489)
Call Humane Services 576-6126
Monday-Friday Noon – 4 PM, Sat-Sun 3-5 PM