PEI

'Really spectacular improvement': Group ranks P.E.I. No. 1 for animal welfare

Prince Edward Island has gone from the bottom of the list to number one in a national report card on animal welfare protection.

P.E.I.'s new animal welfare legislation best in Canada, says Animal Legal Defence Fund

'P.E.I. showed really spectacular improvement this year,' says Sophie Gaillard of the Animal Legal Defence Fund. (Alicia Bridges/CBC News)

Prince Edward Island has gone from the bottom of the list to number one in a national report card on animal welfare.

Last year, the Animal Legal Defence Fund ranked P.E.I. 13th for its animal protection laws, but the government has since proclaimed a new Animal Welfare Act, which has significantly tightened rules. 

"P.E.I. showed really spectacular improvement this year," said Sophie Gaillard, the Canadian spokesperson for the group.

P.E.I.'s new act made considerable improvements, she said, adding provisions that aren't in other provinces. 

"For example, P.E.I. decided to ban exotic animal circuses, so now circuses can only use domestic animals and can't use all sorts of wild animals like elephants and tigers etcetera in circuses. And this is the first province to actually do this," Gaillard said.

The group applauds the fact that P.E.I. is one of only two provinces that requires those responsible for agricultural animals or animals used in research to abide by national codes of practice.

It is also pleased the P.E.I. legislation for giving courts the power to deem certain people unfit to own animals, without having to go through prosecution — this targets hoarders, she said.

The only way P.E.I. could improve its laws, Gaillard said, would be to include fish and marine mammals in the act, as they are currently exempt.

With files from Laura Chapin

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