Paws Act: Bill 136 in Ontario **Now Law**

**Update Bill 136 has passed into law as of December 6 2019)***

Politics and Law was never really my passion because frankly, it breaks my heart. It’s only because of my personal experience that I’ve been following animal protection policy with great interest.

Honestly- Bill 136 is really big for animal protection in Ontario. The current laws -OSPCA act- gave enforcement power to SPCA inspectors. The OSPCA did not have to use transparency to the public- making it very difficult to follow ongoing investigations.

This new bill means there will be animal welfare inspectors/investigator team lead by a Chief Animal Welfare Inspector (CAWI). The CAWI will have direct correspondence with politicians.

This is critically important because the front line workers need to be able to have their findings reported and taken into consideration- since we know that animal protections laws in Ontario are truly lacking- allowing self regulated industry’s to cover up their dirty little secrets.

It is also critically important that the new inspectors mental health be taken care of- as they will be vulnerable to Compassion Fatigue, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression etc brought on by baring witness animal abuse/neglect on a daily basis.

How will this bill help dogs in the sled dog industry?

 

I know in my experience as a whistle blower, Since no other Staff member of this company has come of the shadows I’ve had to try and substantiate all my claims.  I have done all this investigative work and as a “3rd party” complainant, allot of critical information is very hard to come by:

  1. Tracing where kennel dogs came from and ended up
  2. Getting Veterinary records– or proving they are lacking
  3. Providing evidence of such things as: gun used to cull and dead dog pit.
  4. Numerous Freedom of Information applications
  5. informing myself on  the laws and regulations at Federally, provincially and municipally.
  6. going to conferences on to hear what the professionals of the field are talking about such as #calc2019, #NAWC2019 and the #CAVL2019 coming up next weekend.

All the while, having to bare the weight on my shoulders with the mental health and financial stress this entire endeavor has taken on me before this investigation even started.

The Paws act’s Chief Animal Welfare Inspector- and the transparency of this new title should call for better ability to gain information while investigating allegations – and hopefully this professional will already be aware of all the discrepancies in this entire system of animal protection (not have to find out step by step like I did).

This bill has potential to help the dogs in the sled dog industry however there is reason for concern with the exemption to Section 13- dogs in the sled dog industry often fall between the cracks of animal husbandry in relation to agriculture – and “generally accepted practices”- and Standards of Care. Meaning “that’s how it’s always been done” is an acceptable defense for the outdated, questionably ethical treatment of animals in any industry where animals are found which are- by the way- generally self regulated and therefor not bound by law. Hear the pros on the topic: Check out the Paw and Order Podcast episode #10 on Farmed Animal Law with Anna Pippus here.

 

Bill-136 does not change the laws on animal standards of care, it is a bill to enforce the standards of care-which are still lacking in Canada as a whole.

There’s still a long ways to go. But change is in the works.

 

A Big Thank you! Hon. Sylvia Jones for bringing this bill forward to the House! and so soon in this new Parliamentary Term. Bill 136’s next step is a second reading in the house (there’s a few steps before bills become laws).

sylvia.jones@pc.ola.org / 416-325-0408  Send her an email- Give her a call. Let her know how much you appreciate this Bill.

Enough about my opinion- I’m just a whistle blower from the front lines-

I highly recommend checking out the Paw & Order podcast, listen to the pros as they break down pieces of the proposed Bill 136. The whole series is great, check it out- you wont regret it.

Click Here for link to Paw & Order Podcast

Of course, if you would rather read Bill-136 yourself, it’s available here.

 

I’ve recently applied to speak at the #NAWC2020 conference- to share my experience as a front line worker- to full blown whistle blower.

Chantal Dostaler

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