On June 13, 2020 a shipment of 500 puppies arrived at the Toronto Pearson Airport from the Ukraine, 38 were dead.
Not only are the breeders themselves responsible for this tragedy, but the airline, Ukraine International, for allowing over 500 animals aboard a commercial flight and the Canadian federal government, for having little to no regulations to stop the importation of animals into Canada.
In fact, there are no Canadian aviation regulations for pets in planes, the airlines must make their own.
On top of this, there are no laws or licensing in place to regulate breeders abroad or in Canada, nor are there standards in place that breeders must adhere to, such as appropriate living conditions or restrictions on the number of animals being bred, or how many times an animal can be bred. The lack of regulations in this industry means that people who profit from exploiting animals are making their own rules. Our governments make breeding and selling animals an easy and lucrative business.
Following large scale seizures of sick, dead and dying animals from breeders by the BC SPCA in 2016, there was a sliver of hope when then B.C Premier Christy Clarke announced, in conjunction with the BC SPCA, that there would be breeding regulations put in place in the province, that would allow Animal Inspection Officers to regulate breeding licensing and practices. Despite a large media and public outpouring of support for this decision, the legislation was never created. Our politicians have largely demonstrated that they lack the will to protect animals and that they only use them as props for political gain, instead of being genuinely interested in advancing their protection.
Thankfully, recently, there has been a palpable social shift in recognizing the unethical practice of breeding animals for profit, when there are thousands of animals who need homes in shelters. This is evident in the proliferation of municipal councils who have voted to create bylaws to prohibit the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits, such as the cities of Vancouver, Delta, Victoria and Burnaby in B.C and Ottawa and Toronto in Ontario, among others. However, the sale of animals on online platforms such as Kiji, Craigslist and Facebook have continued to grow. Online platforms are the new unethical pet store and they must be stopped.
On July 6, 2020, the CFIA released a statement, announcing that upon completion of their investigation of the large shipment of puppies from the Ukraine, that the CFIA has decided to cancel import permits for all commercial puppies (under 8 months of age) from the Ukraine.
While this is a step in the right direction, this ban does nothing to stop the importation of puppies from other countries who bring animals into Canada, such as Turkey, Korea, the U.S, Mexico and more. This regulation also does not stop the buying and selling of animals found online, which is the method that breeders and sellers use worldwide to connect with those who want to buy an animal.
In addition to cracking down on breeders and breeder-platforms, there also must be further government scrutiny on rescue organizations. Although there are numerous and fantastic rescue groups that do not get the funding, support or thanks they deserve for rescuing and rehoming animals, there are other so-called rescues who are really just businesses that use the guise of rescue to conceal their profit-driven agenda. We encourage people to do their research when they are adopting an animal to ensure that the rescue organization they are supporting is reputable and legitimate.
Animals are not commodities to be bred, sold, shipped and killed for self-indulgence. Our government must prioritize the health and well-being of animals. We need to stop the importation of animals into Canada as well as the unethical and unnecessary breeding of animals entirely. We need compassionate politics.
A petition has been started to call upon the Government of Canada to ban the sale of animals on online platforms. Please sign to show your support.
Animal Protection Party of Canada
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