FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is proposing regulatory amendments to enhance animal protection while ensuring potential pet owners know the health condition of an animal before adopting or buying.

“Animals are a part of the family for many New Brunswickers, and we need to continue to ensure that they are protected,” said Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain. “We are strengthening animal protection regulations and making communities safer for residents and their pets.”

Proposed amendments to the General Regulation and Pet Establishment Regulation under the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which would come into effect by Jan. 1, 2022, have been posted online for a 28-day public review period. These include:

  • Requiring people selling dogs and cats to provide a valid veterinarian certificate of health to purchasers. This requirement aims to increase animal safety and offer consumer protection.
  • Requiring a person who owns or cares for a dog to adhere to improved tethering standards (i.e., the type/length of tether, cleanliness of tethering area, and access to food, water, shelter and shade).
  • Adding two new standards for animal care: NBSPCA Code of Practice for the Care of Dogs and the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Rabbits (published by the National Farm Animal Care Council).
  • Updating the reference to A Code of Practice for Canadian Kennel Operations, published by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, to the latest (2018) edition.

Additional regulatory amendments concerning dog control in rural areas are expected later this fall.

“The New Brunswick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is proud of the collaboration we have with the province, and our working relationship allows us to provide better and stronger protection for animals,” said Tony Porter, the society’s chief animal protection officer. “This is a positive step forward as we continue to advocate for animal welfare.”

The Department of Environment and Local Government gathered feedback from animal welfare stakeholders and advocacy groups to develop these regulatory enhancements. The government has also been monitoring legislation in other jurisdictions to keep up with best practices.

“The New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association supports the commitment of responsible breeding practices and public protection outlined in the amended regulations,” said Nicole Jewett, the association’s registrar. “Our purpose is to advance and maintain the standard of veterinary medicine in the province and protect the welfare of our patients and their owners. In light of the current veterinary workforce shortage, we strongly recommend that health exams be scheduled well in advance of the intended sale, as longer than usual wait times are now expected for non-medically urgent visits at most veterinary hospitals in New Brunswick.’’

“Through our partnerships and research, it became clear that we needed to implement changes,” said Allain. “Our government is moving forward with important improvements to our provincial laws.”

Information about animal protection is available online.