Some animal rights groups are asking the city of Montreal to implant animal welfare as a municipal service, following reports of cruelty at a private pound.


Berger Blanc handles more than 30,000 lost or abandoned animals every year. ((Radio-Canada))

The city should not be doing business with for-profit animal pounds such as Berger Blanc, activists said as a news conference Friday.

They were reacting to a Radio-Canada report on the east-end shelter, which handles animal population control for 10 Montreal boroughs.

The report showed disturbing footage of questionable euthanasia practices at the pound.

Tax dollars should not be used to fund that kind of pet population control, said the Society for the Protection of Animals.

"We think any shelter that's run for profit should be shut down immediately, and we need a transition like many other cities have, to only non-profit shelters," spokesman Sameer Muldeen said.

Montreal is lagging behind other major North American cities when it comes to animal welfare, said Green Party activist Georges Laraque.

"This is a terrible situation," said Green Party activist Georges Laraque. "As a city, as a society, we have to show more heart than we have."

"When you're talking for-profit, lowest bidder and animal welfare, you just can't use those three words in the same phrase," said Johanne Tassé, founder of Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Quebec.

"It just doesn't work."

The city of Montreal is reviewing its current contracts with Berger Blanc, and says regular inspections of the facilities already take place.

Quebec's Liberal government is also reviewing animal welfare in Montreal, following the television report.

Several animal rights groups are planning to take part in a 1 p.m. demonstration Saturday at Montreal City Hall.