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Laws and Regs

Ownership of Animals: Under the Criminal Code of Canada, animals are considered the property of their owners or caregivers, who have legal obligation to provide duties of care. Considering animals as property allows for prosecution of the owner/caregiver when the duties of care are not provided.

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in the respective provinces.

British Columbia

Alberta

Saskatchewan

  • The Animal Protection Act, 2018 and Animal Protection Regulations, 2018
    • protects all animals from being in distress
    • covers animal care duties and prohibited activity
    • protection of service animals, and protection of certain animals against dogs
    • appointment and powers of animal protection agencies, and animal protection officers
  • The Animal Health Act and Animal Health Regulations
    • covers animal health and the prevention, control, and eradication of diseases among animals
    • authority for establishing animal health programs, biosecurity measures, quarantine orders, surveillance zone orders and establishing reportable and notifiable disease lists
  • The Stray Animals Act and Stray Animals Regulations, 1999
    • livestock specific (not cats and dogs)
    • gives local governments the authority to pass bylaws to address stray animals, including locations of pounds, and appointment of pound keepers
    • outlines rules for the restraint and impoundment of animals, and requires the finder to provide food and shelter for the stray animal
  • The Animal Products Act
    • protects any farm animal, including fertilized ova, fish, and bees during production, manufacture, sale, purchase and transport.
  • Various parts of this process are covered under multiple regulations
    • The Livestock Dealer Regulations, 1995
    • The Livestock Inspection and Transportation Regulations, 1978
    • The Animal Custom Care Regulations, 2006
    • The Saskatchewan Egg Regulations, 2010
    • The Fur Farming Regulations, 2017
    • The Meat Inspection (Saskatchewan) Regulations
    • The Domestic Game Farm Animal Regulations
    • The Premises Identification Regulations
    • The Milk Products Compositional Standards Regulations, 2014

Manitoba

  • Animal Care Act and Animal Care Regulation
    • apply to most farm animals during all activities including transport, excluding generally accepted practices
    • enforced by the Office of the Chief Veterinarian, special animal protection officers and police officers
  • Bill 62, Protecting property owners, 2021

Ontario

Quebec

Prince Edward Island

  • Animal Welfare Act (PDF) and Animal Welfare Regulations (PDF)
    • protect all farm animals from distress during any activity, excluding generally accepted practices of animal management, husbandry or slaughter
    • enforced by inspectors appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Bill 120, Protecting property owners, 2020 (PDF)
  • Bill 124, Protecting from improper release of commercial animals, 2020 (PDF)

Nunavut

  • Herd and Fencing Act
    • protects most farm animals during housing (fencing)
    • enforced by officers appointed by the Commissioner

Northwest Territories

  • Herd and Fencing Act (PDF)
    • protects most farm animals during housing (fencing)
    • enforced by officers appointed by the Commissioner

Yukon

  • Animal Protection Act
    • protects all farm animals from distress and cruelty during any activity
    • enforced by the Yukon Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and police officers

Nova Scotia

  • Animal Health and Protection Act
    • addresses destroying diseased animals, quarantine, vaccination, and testing
    • enforced by inspectors designated by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Animal Protection Act
    • protects all animals during any activity, excluding generally accepted practices of animal management husbandry or slaughter
    • enforced by inspectors designated by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Meat Inspection Act/Regulations Respecting Slaughter
    • protect most farm animals during slaughter
    • enforced by inspectors designated by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Baby Chick Protection Act
    • prohibits displaying or selling artificially coloured living chickens
    • enforced by the Department of Agriculture

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Animal Health and Protection Act and Animal Protection Regulations / Animal Protection Standards Regulations
    • protects all domestic animals, adopts codes of practice and allows for increased monetary penalties
    • enforced by police officers and inspectors appointed by the Minister, which may include provincial and municipal employees as well as non-governmental agencies
  • Meat Inspection Act
    • protects farm animals during holding and slaughter
    • enforced by the Department of Government Services

New Brunswick

  • Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
    • protect any farm animal during any activity
    • enforced by the New Brunswick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and police officers
  • Poultry Health Protection Act and Hatchery Licensing and Hatchery Supply Flock Policy Regulation
    • provide protection for chicks during housing
    • enforced by inspectors designated by the Minister of Agriculture