Changes are coming to animal care enforcement in Ontario. Earlier this year, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) announced they would not sign a new contract for their services with the Ontario government. This means that, as of April 1, OSPCA is no longer investigating and enforcing animal cruelty law for livestock and equine on farms in Ontario.
These decisions have required changes to the process and the authorities for animal protection across the province. The public is being advised to contact local polices services if they are concerned with care of a farm animal. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) wants all farmers to be aware that local police services have taken over the responsibility from OSPCA for inspection and enforcement activities for all livestock and equine in Ontario. OSPCA will continue to provide services for animal care enforcement for domestic pets only until June 28, 2019.
OFA has been working with Ontario’s animal agriculture representatives, Farm and Food Care Ontario and commodity groups to develop networks with police forces across the province that now have the authority to inspect premises and enforce animal care laws. Ontario farmers provide excellent care for farm animals and uphold the highest standard of care outlined in our national codes of practice.
OFA is committed to continue to work closely with police services in the best interests of farm animals as a new plan for animal care protection takes shape. We will also continue to work with farmers, livestock groups, police services and the Ontario government to ensure cooperation and transparency between all parties continues as changes to Ontario’s animal protection services are implemented.
By Crispin Colvin, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture