Montreal, September 17, 2018 – A month ago, in the lead-up to the provincial election, the Montreal SPCA submitted a questionnaire to the main political parties to learn more about their positions on various provincial animal welfare issues. Today, we are revealing the results of this questionnaire in the form of a ranking, from the most to the least favourable position on animal welfare:
- Green Party of Quebec (GPQ)
- Québec Solidaire (QS)
- Parti Québécois (PQ)
- Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ)
*The Quebec Liberal Party refused to answer the questionnaire.
72% of Quebecers believe that animal welfare should be a key electoral issue
In July, the Montreal SPCA asked Léger Marketing to assess the importance of animal welfare and protection in the eyes of Quebec voters. The results of this survey revealed that 72% of the Quebec population considers it very important or somewhat important for candidates to address provincial issues affecting animals during their election campaigns.
The parties take positions
“All the parties to which the Montreal SPCA sent its questionnaire – apart from the Quebec Liberal Party, which refused to participate – seem to recognize the importance of animal welfare issues in the eyes of voters, as all of them state that this is an issue of great importance,” comments Sophie Gaillard, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “Yet only two parties suggest concrete measures to improve animal protection in Quebec. The Coalition Avenir Québec and the Parti Québécois both responded to only a small number of the questions submitted. Only Quebec Solidaire and the Green Party of Quebec took the time to answer the questionnaire in its entirety and seem to have given these issues serious thought.”
For ranking purposes, the questions submitted to the parties were grouped into four main themes:
1. Animals raised for food
The CAQ states that it would support producers’ initiatives to improve farm animal welfare, but does not take a position on the role of the government in imposing regulations governing how these animals can be treated.
The PQ argues that it is the State’s duty to ensure that farm animals are well-treated and that standards must be as rigorous as possible without, however, proposing any concrete measures on how to achieve these objectives.
QS proposes to end self-regulation within the industry, with respect to animal welfare, to adopt mandatory codes of practice, and to implement a farm animal welfare inspection program.
The GPQ calls for substantive reform, including strict enforcement with inspections and the banning of certain widespread practices that compromise animal welfare, including systematic mutilation, the live grinding of male chicks and the use of electric prods.
2. Companion animals
The CAQ does not take any stance on the permanent chaining of dogs, no-pet clauses in residential leases, or declawing.
The PQ has no position on the permanent chaining of dogs, no-pet clauses in residential leases, or declawing. The party says it wants to eliminate puppy mills but does not suggest any concrete measures to regulate the sale or breeding of domestic animals.
QS suggests expanding to the entire province the City of Montreal’s recent decision to require pet stores to source animals for sale from shelters. The party also states that it would most likely prohibit the permanent chaining of dogs and is firmly opposed to no-pet clauses in residential leases.
The GPQ wants to ban the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores and on the internet, and to impose mandatory sterilization with the exception of small, family-scale breeders. The party would ban the permanent chaining of dogs, no-pet clauses in residential leases and declawing.
3. Exotic animals and wildlife in captivity and animals used for entertainment
The CAQ does not take a position on the welfare of animals raised for their fur, or on the protection of “exotic” pets. The party is in favour of allowing rodeos to continue to be held in Quebec.
The PQ has no position on the welfare of animals raised for their fur, the protection of “exotic” pets, or rodeos.
QS commits to ending self-regulation within the fur industry by imposing mandatory codes of practice, taking fur farm inspections more seriously and implementing a licensing scheme for this type of activity.
The GPQ strongly opposes any form of fur production and commercialization and plans on gradually abolish this industry. The party suggests creating a license system for the sale and breeding of “exotic” pets in order to better supervise this industry. The party also opposes any form of animal captivity for the purpose of entertainment and plans to gradually ban rodeos, circuses, zoos and aquariums.
4. Enforcement of animal protection legislation
The CAQ says it intends to take the “necessary measures” to enforce the law. The party plans on continuing to work with SPAs and SPCAs for enforcement for the time being, but then to study the possibility of entrusting this mandate exclusively to the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ).
The PQ states that it considers SPAs and SPCAs to be essential partners in law enforcement and that it is open to discussing ways to improve enforcement.
QS is committed to investing more public funds into law enforcement and implementing licensing systems that are not currently in place.
The GPQ says it wants to give broader powers to SPAs and SPCAs, hire more inspectors and set up a Ministère de la condition animale that would be responsible for developing and enforcing animal welfare legislation.
“We note that most provincial political parties are committed to animal welfare issues, some with rather progressive measures,” says Élise Desaulniers, Executive Director at the Montreal SPCA. “There is still a long way to go, but we hope that this first step will open the way for concrete measures after the election.”
Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Communications Director, Montreal SPCA, 514-359-5198, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first animal welfare society in Canada and our mission is to:
- protect animals from neglect, abuse and exploitation
- represent their interests and ensure their well-being
- raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all sentient beings
For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com and follow us on social media.