Ontario is proposing legislative amendments to improve care for marine mammals at aquariums and zoos and strengthen animal welfare enforcement.
Recent reports on the care and treatment of marine mammals have raised concerns over the welfare of these species. The McGuinty Government takes these concerns seriously, that’s why it is launching a three-point plan that will:
•Propose legislative amendments to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act to improve provincewide enforcement of animal protection measures in the Act. They would also strengthen the governance of the OSPCA.
•Create new regulations to further protect marine mammals in captivity.
•Explore options for the licensing of zoos and aquariums.
Ontario will continue to work with the OSPCA and other animal welfare partners to fulfill these commitments.
The government is also releasing the Animal Welfare Task Force’s report. The task force was established in response to the OSPCA-commissioned Meek-Lesage Review into animal sheltering in Ontario.
•There are over 60 zoos in Ontario, which is more than the number of all other provinces combined.
•The Animal Welfare Task Force is made up of government ministries and stakeholders with connections to animal shelters, including the OSPCA.
•The task force concluded animals are well served by Ontario’s animal shelters but has recommended improvements in public health, the operation of shelters, and animal worker health and safety.