Farm Animal Care


Animal Cruelty Amendments

OFA categorically opposes the proposed Criminal Code amendments in Bill C-246 which threaten animal agriculture and other legitimate animal use activities. Key concerns with the Bill include, but are not limited to, Part XI and Part V.1 which intends animals to no longer be part of one’s property and for crimes against animals to be associated with sexual offences, wording selection and definitions of Sections 182.1 to 182.6, and issues with established case law and precedence being lost. OFA does not oppose the initiative to address the practice of shark finning and the labelling of textiles containing cat and dog fur.

Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act

Farmers and farm organizations endorse the humane treatment of all animals; livestock, poultry, domestic pets or wildlife. Farmers who raise livestock or poultry treat them with care and consideration – it is their livelihood and in their best interests to do so.  They also genuinely care about the well being of their animals.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (OSPCA Act) grants specific exceptions to the offences of causing or permitting distress and to complying with the Standards of Care for activities carried on in accordance with “reasonable and generally accepted practices of agricultural animal care, management or husbandry”. The various nationally-developed Codes of Practice for farm animals provide this reference standard. Currently there are 13 codes for specific farm animal types, plus one addressing transport. A number of the Codes are currently under revision.

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was last amended in 2008. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture made a number of recommendations for changes to the legislation. We appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice Policy, which held public hearings into the amendments in the summer of 2008.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture met with Minister Meilleur (Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services) on Monday January 21, 2013, and raised the following specific issues that must be addressed in amendments to the Act.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture believes that amendments to the Act are needed to;

1.         Make the OSPCA accountable to the Legislative Assembly and/or the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services through mandatory annual reporting of SPCA activities; investigations, enforcement activities, case outcomes, appeals and the training and qualifications of enforcement staff.

2.         Repeal the provisions pertaining to entry without a warrant [section 12(6)].

3.         Clarify the application of the term “immediate distress”, which relates to entry without a warrant [section 12(8)].

4.         Separate SPCA’s dual and often conflicting roles, those being; enforcer of provincial and federal animal protection laws and registered charity that actively raises funds.

5.         Expand the makeup of the Animal Care Review Board (ACRB) to include veterinarians with expertise in all types of farm animals, cattle, horses, sheep, goats, swine and poultry. Currently there is one large animal veterinarian available for Board hearings. In addition, the ACRB should include farmer and farm organization representation.

Sub Issues

Submissions & Correspondence

OFA submission regarding proposed amendments to Rabies Immunization Regulation 567
(November 8, 2017)

OFA letter regarding animal welfare
(December 14, 2016)

OFA letter to Ontario MPs in regards to voting against Bill C-246
(September 28, 2016)

OFA position on Bill C-246
(April 8, 2016)

OFA letter to Ontario MPs regarding Bill C-246
(April 6, 2016)


Setting an agenda for farming and food in Ontario
(April 26, 2013 - Farm Animal Care, Rural Economic Development, Nutrient Management, Agri-Food Research, Energy, Taxation, Drainage)

Coordinated approach to “The Pig Trial”
(October 4, 2016 - Farm Animal Care)

Agriculture’s social license – a complex challenge
(May 5, 2017 - Farm Animal Care)

Ontario farm organizations disappointed with pig trial verdict
(May 4, 2017 - Farm Animal Care)

OFA urges MPs to vote against Bill C-246 at second reading
(September 23, 2016 - Farm Animal Care)

Search Issues

If you are having difficulties using our search function, please contact us.