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Ontario animal cruelty laws should be enforced by public sector: report

A new report from two animal rights groups says Ontario's animal cruelty laws should be enforced by the public sector rather than by a private charity, as is currently the case.

Zoocheck and Animal Alliance of Canada say new government commission could oversee enforcement

The report by Zoocheck and Animal Alliance of Canada comes after a decision by an Ontario judge last week that struck down the enforcement powers of the OSPCA. (Ontario SPCA)

A new report from two animal rights groups says Ontario's animal cruelty laws should be enforced by the public sector rather than by a private charity, as is currently the case.

The report by Zoocheck and Animal Alliance of Canada — titled "New directions for animal welfare in Ontario" — lays out a vision for animal welfare reform in the province.

It suggests launching a new government commission that would oversee animal welfare law enforcement, which includes frontline investigators, police officers and various ministry inspectors and veterinarians.

Zoocheck executive director Rob Laidlaw says a commission could address long-standing complaints about the lack of oversight, transparency and accountability at the province's animal welfare agency.

The report comes after a decision by an Ontario judge last week that struck down the enforcement powers of the OSPCA.

The judge has given the provincial government a year to re-write the laws that govern the OSPCA to make them compliant with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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