Zoocheck And Animal Alliance Launch New Review Of Ontario’s Animal Protection System

‘Ontario’s animal protection system has deficiencies that need to be addressed.’ – Zoocheck director Rob Laidlaw

News from Zoocheck and the Animal Alliance of Canada

Posted October 27th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

Toronto, Ontario – Two of Canada’s national animal protection organizations, Zoocheck and Animal Alliance announced this Ocotber 25th that they have contracted Mike Zimmerman, the former senior civil servant in charge of Ontario’s animal welfare legislation, to produce a report on the current state of animal welfare in the province.chimp-southport-zoo-caps

“We think the situation needs to be carefully reviewed”, said Zoocheck’s Director, Rob Laidlaw.

“The people of Ontario care about animals, however most don’t know that our animal protection system has deficiencies that need to be addressed. Zoocheck’s focus is on animals in captivity and we have particular concerns in that area, but all animals deserve the best protection possible from cruelty and neglect and we want to do our part to help make that happen”.

“We have concerns that animal protection legislation is not consistently applied throughout Ontario,” added Animal Alliance’s Director, Liz White.  “We believe our report will help the government fully understand that there are deficiencies in the system and take action to better protect animals in the province.” 

In 2013, the Toronto Star called Zimmerman “the architect” of Ontario’s primary animal protection law, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act. Now, his report will assess how effectively that law and others are being enforced throughout the province.

“I look forward to this opportunity,” said Zimmerman. “I took pride in helping to develop the changes to the OSPCA Act, but if there are gaps or deficiencies in how it works or is being delivered, they need to be identified and addressed.”

The report is expected to be completed and released to the public in March 2017.

About Zoocheck CanadaZoocheck Canada is a national animal protection charity established in 1984 to promote and protect the wellbeing of wild animals. We are the only Canadian organization with a specific focus on captive wild animal issues.

Thousands of animals are held captive in zoos, aquariums and private menageries and many more are brought into the country by circuses, traveling shows and entertainment companies. Thousands of exotic species, many caught in the wild, are imported into Canada, joining the thousands of animals already bought and sold in the exotic pet trade. The laws prohibiting the exploitation and abuse of these animals are weak and poorly enforced in many parts of Canada.

Over the years, Zoocheck’s campaigns have resulted in the closure of some of Canada’s worst zoos; the cancellation of plans to construct new zoos and aquariums; improved husbandry conditions; new or improved bylaws; a greater awareness of wildlife issues; and support for projects that protect animals in the wild.

Visit Niagara At Large at www.niagaraatlarge.com for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.

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