British Columbia

Surrey, B.C. considers ban on dog, cat and rabbit sales

Surrey city council is considering a ban on the retail sale of cats, dogs and rabbits.

Surrey city council will consider a ban on retail sales at Monday's meeting

Surrey city staff say banning the retail sale of dogs and cats is a preventative measure. (Amanda Bay / Firedog Communications)

Surrey city council is considering a ban on the retail sale of cats, dogs and rabbits.

None of the 22 licensed pet retail locations in Surrey currently sells cats or dogs but many sell rabbits.

"Our shelter count for rabbits has gone up quite a bit over the last couple years," said Surrey Bylaw Services Manager Jas Rehal.

"Banning the sale of rabbits for retail will help out with that," Rehal said. "Caring for a rabbit is not easy."

More than 70 rabbits wound up at city shelters last year and only three of them were reunited with their owners.

There are currently about 30 rabbits in the care of the Surrey Animal Resource Centre.

A report from city staff recommends introducing the ban in June to give retailers enough time to find homes for their rabbits.

Rehal says including cats and dogs in the ban is a preventative measure.

"We're lucky we're in a good spot with this issue, so we thought that we'd make sure that a few years down the road we don't have a big influx," he said.

Several other municipalities across the country have similar rules, including Vancouver, which introduced a ban late last year.

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