Montreal, July 4th 2018 – For many years, the Montreal SPCA has been struggling with the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) in order to improve the way that provincial animal protection legislation is enforced in our province. The government promised that Bill 54, An Act to Improve the legal situation of Animals, which passed in December 2015, would ensure that animals be better protected and those who mistreat them punished. Yet two and half years later, it is obvious that animals are not any better off. Indeed, as exposed in today’s publication of Une loi mordant mais peu efficace in La Presse, even though the new law is good, the way in which the government chooses to enforce it is tremendously lax. To demand immediate action in order give the animals of Quebec the protection they deserve, the Montreal SPCA is launching the campaign Broken Promises.
The government has broken too many promises:
- The government had promised that it would fight animal neglect and cruelty.Yet: The Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) frequently denies inspectors the authorization to remove animals from premises where they are being mistreated, even when there are clear violations of the law.
- The government had promised that puppy mills would be eradicated.
Yet: MAPAQ continues to give permits to puppy mills that contravene the law. Even individuals who have been convicted of animal cruelty are being granted permits.
- The government had promised to monitor fur farming more closely.
Yet: Despite there being a permit system for this type of facility under the law, the government has not put it into force, allowing fur farms to operate without adequate government oversight.
- The government had promised that codes of practice governing the raising of animals for food would become mandatory.Yet: To this day, compliance with these codes remains strictly voluntary. There are no regulations that govern the way that animals raised for food are treated on farms.
- The government had promised that it would work in partnership with SPAs and SPCAs to protect animals and punish those who mistreat them.
Yet: The government failed to renew agreements giving SPAs and SPCAs the power to enforce the law, even though these agreements expired on March 31, 2018.Even before the agreements expired, the government refused to allow SPAs and SPCAs to enforce the law with respect to species other than dogs and cats, despite the fact that the law covers many other species.Even before the agreements expired, the government had not provided any training to SPA and SPCA inspectors since 2014, before the new law was passed. Given that completing government training is required to become an inspector, this lack of training prevented SPAs and SPCAs from hiring new inspectors and even replacing those who leave their jobs.
“Every single day, on the ground, we are confronted with situations in which animals have been left to suffer due to MAPAQ’s lax application of the law,” said Alanna Devine Director of Advocacy. “We hope that our campaign Broken Promises will shed light on Quebec’s animal welfare crisis. SPAs and SPCAs throughout the province must regain their inspection powers and be allowed to enforce the law without having their hands tied and with respect to animals of all species”.
For more information, visit: https://brokenpromises.spca.com/en/.