City Adopts New Regulations for a Humane Community
The City of Duncan Council adopted a new Animal Regulation and Impounding Bylaw that heralds a new, more humane and responsible era for the keeping of companion animals. An ad hoc committee was formed consisting of representatives from the BC SPCA, Coastal Animal Services, and the City’s Corporate Services staff to review the draft bylaw which was developed based on portions of the SPCA’s Model Animal Responsibility Bylaw and other local government animal control bylaws which have incorporated standards of care for animals. Feedback was also provided by Council and members of the public.
Notable changes to the bylaw include:
- A limit on the number of companion animals that can be kept on a single lot;
- A section related to prohibited animals;
- A section on animal welfare which includes provisions related to: animal cruelty, basic animal care requirements, outdoor shelter requirements, sanitation requirements, tying of animals, transporting animals in motor vehicles, and exercising dogs from a motor vehicle or bicycle;
- Guidelines for animals in public places;
- A section related to identification for the keeping of cats;
- Prohibitions on feeding wildlife;
- Banning wolf‐dog or wolf‐dog hybrids; and
- Additional requirements for owners of aggressive dogs
“The new bylaw will enhance the well‐being of animals in our City and we are especially pleased with the new regulations related to banning the tethering of animals outdoors for long periods of time and keeping animals confined in enclosures (including motor vehicle) without adequate ventilation to prevent the animal from suffering from distress, said Mayor Kent. It is also a great opportunity for bylaw enforcement officers to educate the public if they see animals living in less than ideal conditions and as a tool when dealing with animal neglect.”
The BC SPCA in encouraged to see municipalities implementing bylaws that encourage responsible animal care and guardianship. Erika Paul, Senior Animal Protection and Outreach Officer has worked in the Cowichan Valley for more than 10 years and is pleased with the update. “These changes will improve the lives of animals living in Duncan,” she said. Ms. Paul who serves both as an animal cruelty investigator and bylaw expert, continues to meet with municipalities on Vancouver Island and is looking forward to seeing this positive movement towards humane communities spread throughout the Cowichan Valley.
The new Animal Regulation and Impounding Bylaw No. 3139, 2015 will take effect immediately and can be found on the City’s website. Karen Robertson, the City’s Director of Corporate Services stated that “the City will be reaching out to inform pet owners of the bylaw changes and responsible pet care. Staff will also review processes and procedures to ensure best practices are followed.”
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