Animal Justice Canada (“Animal Justice”) is urging Prince Edward Island’s Department of Agriculture and Forestry (the “Department”) to increase its efforts to improve provincial animal welfare legislation. Despite commitments on behalf of the Department to improve provincial animal welfare legislation, Prince Edward Island continues to fall behind most other Canadian jurisdictions in regards to the strength of animal welfare legislation.
Inadequacies in Prince Edward Island’s animal welfare laws and enforcement policies were brought to public attention following the shocking case and subsequent conviction in 2010 of well-known puppy mill operator Bud Wheatley. Following public outcry and judicial criticism, the Department committed to improving the protection of animals in the province, including refining the enforcement process and strengthening legislation. To date, there have been no changes to the laws in Prince Edward Island that protect animals from cruelty and neglect.
In a recent study released by the Animal Legal Defence Fund (the “ALDF”), Prince Edward Island ranks among the country’s worst jurisdictions for animal protection. The ALDF’s 2012 Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings shows Prince Edward Island dropping from the ranking’s middle tier, in 2011, to the bottom tier in 2012, joining Quebec, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
“Prince Edward Island has a significant task ahead, and we hope that the Minister will take every opportunity to improve the protection of animals in the province as expediently as possible,” said Nick Wright, Executive Director of Animal Justice. “In light of their commitment to amending legislation, we have contacted Agriculture and Forestry Minister George Webster to offer our support and assistance. Animal Justice looks forward to the opportunity to help improve animal protection laws in PEI.”
ALDF’s annual study ranks provinces and territories based on the relative strength and comprehensiveness of current animal protections laws. Although there have been no changes to Prince Edward Island’s legislation since 2011, ALDF’s methodology has been refined, including an increased number of study questions and more detailed comparative analysis. As a result, Prince Edward Island has dropped from eighth to tenth position out of thirteen jurisdictions.
Animal Justice Canada is a Canadian Registered Charity dedicated to advancing public knowledge of animal practices and preventing the abuse and killing of animals through the enforcement of existing laws.
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