British Columbia

Premier Christy Clark promises new protections for B.C. cats and dogs

Premier Christy Clark says B.C. will work with the SPCA to develop new rules to license and regulate dog and cat breeders in the province.

Licensing for breeders under consideration after 150 animals rescued from deplorable conditions

This seized Bernese mountain dog missing an eye was one of dozens of dogs seized by the SPCA. (BC SPCA)

Premier Christy Clark says B.C. will work with the SPCA to develop new rules to license and regulate dog and cat breeders in the province.

The move is a result of two high-profile puppy mill busts that were carried out in Surrey and Langley in the past two weeks. Over 150 dogs and cats were rescued from deplorable conditions.

"Our message to bad breeders is you are not welcome here," said Clark at a press conference. "Cruelty to animals in this province will not be tolerated."

Clark says the incoming standards will be guided by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association code of practice for kennels and cattery operations.

The new regulations will require sick or injured animals receive prompt and adequate veterinary care, that kennels be cleaned on a daily basis, and that there be a minimum space provision for each animal.

The code will also include regulations on housing, ventilation, food and water, care and supervision, record keeping, behavioural needs and socialization, said Clark.

Currently breeders do not need a licence to operate in B.C. The new rules are expected in 2017.

Distressing cases

Craig Daniell of the B.C. SPCA says his organization investigates 200 cruelty complaints every year related to breeders, but the two latest high profile ones were especially distressing.

A sheep dog seized from a Langley breeder was suffering from a badly infected eye and matted fur. (BC SPCA)

"Many of the dogs were kept in small cramped and cracked crates and cages in dark unheated buildings with dangerously high ammonia levels," said Daniell. 

"These events have reinforced the public's desire for regulations of the breeders to prevent animal suffering we have seen in the last two weeks."

In the first raid 66 dogs were rescued from an alleged puppy mill in Langley, some suffering from infections, broken limbs and missing eyes or ears.

The second raid involved 84 cats and dogs at a Surrey breeding and boarding facility. One cat and one kitten were in such serious condition they had to be euthanized hours after they were taken.

With files from Belle Puri


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