Today, Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced amendments to Saskatchewan’s Animal Protection Act.
“Protecting the health and welfare of our province’s animals is a priority for our government,” Stewart said. “It’s important that as our knowledge of animal welfare changes, our legislation changes to keep pace with it. The Animal Protection Amendment Act, 2017, will ensure Saskatchewan’s legislation is up-to-date, consistent with other jurisdictions and provides clear direction for enforcement agencies, so that our animal welfare system is responsive to today’s needs.”
Changes include broadening the definition of distress, giving animal protection officers the ability to issue corrective action orders and expanding locations they can inspect to include boarding kennels and other sites where animal services are provided.
These changes give clearer direction for animal protection officers providing intervention or relief of distress. Animals are not considered to be in distress if kept according to the codes of practice that are listed in The Animal Protection Regulations.
Additionally, the Act proposes that veterinarians will be required to report suspected animal neglect or abuse to animal protection agencies.
“Updating The Animal Protection Act will go a long way in helping ensure the health and welfare of animals across the province,” Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA) President Dr. Lesley Sawa said. “The SVMA requested provisions for mandatory veterinary reporting of animal neglect and abuse and we are pleased to see that included.”
“The humane treatment of animals in Saskatchewan is our priority and the suggested legislative updates support our mission to provide effective animal welfare education and enforcement,” Animal Protection Services Saskatchewan Executive Director Kaley Pugh said.
The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for administering the Act and ensuring it provides clear direction for enforcement of animal protection for all animals in the province. The ministry also approves humane societies and appoints animal protection officers to enforce the Act.