OFA provides comments in partnership with fellow commodity groups to Minister Michael Kerzner regarding the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019. Ontario farmers and their family/staff are committed to farm animal welfare by providing the best care to ensure the health and welfare of their animals is met as outlined in the national codes of practice. Ontario’s farmers and farm organizations are concerned about the health, safety, welfare, and comfort of the animals under our care. the Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act, 2019 came into effect on January 1, 2020, replacing the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act, 1990. This new statute was welcomed by many commodity groups and farm organizations as it brought with it an updated, more uniform approach to delivering animal welfare enforcement in Ontario.
Given the length of time that has passed and now with some experience working through actual cases involving livestock, our groups feel a review is warranted now to ensure the process is functioning as intended and meeting expectations. A review of the Act would also allow evaluation of the current processes involved in animal welfare investigations, training of inspectors, data collection and reporting, identifying any gaps in the process. Our groups respectfully request a meeting to discuss this request and how the PAWS Act can better protect animal welfare in the province and meet the expectations of all concerned.