Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell is introducing tougher animal protection legislation.
AMHERST – Dogs will no longer be allowed to be tethered for more than 12 hours at a time under draft standards of care released Thursday by Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell.
Through regulations, standards of care aim to prevent distress and cruelty and to strengthen the protection of companion animals in Nova Scotia. They also include regulation of companion animal restraints, outdoor care, shelters, companion animal pens and enclosures, abandonment of companion animals as well as the transportation and sale of companion animals.
"I know animal protection is as important to Nova Scotians as it is to me," said Colwell. "I am committed to doing all I can as minister to make sure that we have the proper regulations in place so that animals in this province are properly cared for and protected."
Colwell and department officials have met with various animal protection groups since last fall. These consultations followed online feedback from Nova Scotians last summer. As a result, the draft standards of care were expanded to cover cats.
Part of the proposed changes are to add Animal Protection Act infractions to the list of summary offence tickets. This would allow the SPCA and other enforcement officials, including bylaw officers in municipalities, to issue tickets for certain infractions including tethering a dog for longer than 12 hours a day.
During the next month, the department will seek public input into the draft standards of care. Interested Nova Scotians are asked to fill out a feedback questionnaire on the department's website www.novascotia.ca/agri/ and either e-mail or mail their response no later than March 31.
"We look forward to further input and feedback from Nova Scotians," said Colwell. "The standards of care are at the draft stage, but we are confident we are getting close where our new regulations need to be."