Strengthen Enforcement of Animal Protection Laws


Target: Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia

Goal: Accompany improved animal protection regulations with more enforcement officers

Strengthened animal protection laws have recently come into effect in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Amendments to the province’s Animal Protection Act have outlawed tethering pets for periods longer than 12 hours and require a veterinary certificate of health to accompany any animal sold in the province. The new amendments have also increased punishments for those who break animal protection laws.

The new comprehensive regulations will allow animal rights inspectors to break car windows if a distressed animal is trapped inside without its owner. The laws will cut sales by irresponsible, cash-focused breeders who often sell unhealthy or improperly socialized pets without veterinarian checkups. Enforcement officials will also be able to write on-the-spot tickets to those found abusing animals.

These new laws were made with the input of over 300 members of the public. While the regulations could mean a monumental change for the province’s animal protection abilities, experts are apprehensive about whether or not the province has the resources to enforce them. Currently, there are 18 trained Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) inspectors throughout the entirety of Canada, with only two of them stationed in Nova Scotia. This forces the officers to rely largely on public reports in order to find and stop animal cruelty.

New protection laws alone will have only a minor impact on animal cruelty in Nova Scotia. The government and SPCA should also be focusing on improving their ability to enforce such laws. Sign the petition below to ask for an improved network of SPCA-trained protection officers in Nova Scotia.


Dear Premier McNeil,

Animal protection laws in Nova Scotia were recently strengthened. All pets sold in the province will now require a bill of health from a practicing veterinarian and punishments for animal abusers have increased. Pets can no longer be tethered for more than 12 hours a day, and animal protection officers can now break distressed animals out of locked vehicles.

While these laws, created with the input of the public, have the potential to create meaningful change in Nova Scotia’s animal welfare landscape, they are almost useless without officers to enforce them. Currently, the province employs only two SPCA-trained enforcement officers, forcing them to rely largely on the public to report crimes against animals.

To improve the efficacy of Nova Scotia’s comprehensive animal protection laws, more SPCA officers are needed. We, the undersigned, applaud your province’s new animal welfare regulations, but ask that enforcement capacity be strengthened as well.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: b1ue5ky via Flickr Creative Commons

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649 Signatures

  • Jessica Claudio
  • Janet Delaney
  • joan walker
  • sheila childs
  • Chris Verhaegen
  • Alice Rim
  • Jill Ballard
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