New PAWS Act boosts accountability for animal care

trained animal welfare inspectors employed by the province. As a publicly funded animal welfare en- forcement model, this revamped system provides for increased ac- countability, transparency and over- sight by the government. Last year, the Ontario Feder-

OFA Commentary: January 17, 2020

By Crispin Colvin, Director, On- tario Federation of Agriculture The Provincial Animal Wel-

fare Services (PAWS) Act came into effect January 1, 2020. This new statute replaces the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to An- imals Act, and brings with it an up- dated, more uniform approach to delivering animal welfare enforce- ment in Ontario. The PAWS Act implements a

provincially-funded animal welfare enforcement model, designed to protect animals from abuse and neg- lect, and creates uniformity across the province. The legislation intro- duces a new enforcement system for Ontario, headed by the Chief Ani- mal Welfare Inspector, and includes


ation of Agriculture (OFA) worked closely with provincial livestock and poultry organizations and the government to develop this new an- imal protection model. Agricultural and government representatives col- laborated together to create the PAWS Act, which will keep farmers and our entire industry accountable and responsible for the care and protection of animals in Ontario. As farmers, we welcome this

legislation to protect animals with stiff penalties and zero tolerance for animal abuse and neglect. We care about the health, safety, welfare and comfort of our animals and follow established national codes of prac- tice for their care and handling. OFA, along with our members and industry partners, applauds the new PAWS Act which aligns with our standards of care for animals and welcomes an enforcement system that includes specially trained in- spectors, strict penalties, and in- creased

accountability and

transparency. The new legislation sets the

strongest penalties in Canada for DR C O Y

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anyone who violates animal welfare laws. In addition to being subject to a code of conduct, inspectors will receive new and specialized train- ing, including training in zoos, aquariums, livestock and equine care and handling. We look forward to specialized training for Crown prosecutors to aid in prosecutions for those accused of abusing ani- mals. The model also provides a 24- hour call centre for reporting suspected cases of animal abuse or neglect,


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The PAWS Act is good news

for all Ontarians. Our farmers who are proud of the care they provide their animals. Our agri-food indus- try partners who rely on our high standards of care as part of a safe value-chain. The government as a welcome partner in developing and enforcing the legislation. And the general public, who can be assured that our farm animals are safe, healthy and well cared for.


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