So Bill 186 - the former Animal Cruelty and Prevention Act, and the new "Act to Protect Animals and to Aid Animals that are in Distress" is now available to be read online at http://www.gov.ns.ca/legislature/legc/...
It is certainly open to a lot of interpretation. I'd say that it's also open to a lot of abuse if the government wants to use it that way - so what we're going to have to do is take a deep breath and try to remember that we live in Nova Scotia - not the United States - and hope upon hope that this is a place where when decisions are made - the right and correct ones are usually made, and that they are made in the best interests of the animals - which actually sometimes pisses off the humans because the humans want a different outcome (which is a different thing entirely).
Things that are being talked about regarding the new Act are the fact that it appears that the regulations concerning how animals being used for experimentation are treated and how the scientists are monitored has been loosened exponentially - and will now be watchdogged by a group sponsored by the Animal Testing community itself - the animal experimenter has hired their own yes man, and the Department of Agriculture has just legalized it.
Another new thing is that there is now going to be an animal cruelty appeal board -
31 (1) There is hereby established a board known as the Animal Cruelty Appeal Board
composed of not more than ten members appointed by the Governor in Council for such terms as the Governor in Council determines.
If you are convicted of animal cruelty, or your animal is seized - you can go to the appeal board and have your case heard. I am interested in this because I want to know how you get on the Board - I want to fill out an application!
The NS SCPA is officially going to not do agricultural complaints anymore - only the department of Agriculture is going to do it - so they'll be doing some hiring if anyone's qualified for the jobs - another case of the the the foxes watching the hen house unfortunately.
As well - if the Minister of Agriculture - or
19 (1) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, appoint a person as Administrator of the Society for the purpose of investigations and inspections under this Act if the Society takes up a practice or tolerates a situation incompatible with its mandate with respect to investigations and inspections under this Act and the Administrator has all the powers of the Society under this Act for the purpose of investigations and inspections.
So he can appoint someone to come in and take over administration of the NS SPCA if he thinks things are becoming too screwed up and the Board has gotten out of control. THAT is interesting.
In the "Prevention of Cruelty to Animals" section it says:
22 A person who owns or is in charge of an animal other than a farm animal shall
(d) not confine the animal to an enclosure or area with inadequate space, unsanitary
conditions, inadequate ventilation or without providing an opportunity for exercise so as to significantly impair the animal’s health or well-being
That to me says that large scale - or small scale as well - puppy mills - people who keep their "breeding stock" dogs in cages all the time - won't be allowed to do that anymore. There is now a specific spot in the Act that we can point to that says - "this is not allowed - you are not allowed to be treating your dogs this way - and I am calling the NS SPCA Cruelty Inspectors to report you". I can personally think of a couple people who I have been told about - and one that I've met personally - who fit this category. This, to me - is fabulous. And people who know me, and who we all know the same people - can figure out who I'm talking about, too.
Cropping and docking COULD creep up again - under the "General" section it says:
40 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(m) defining or prescribing unacceptable animal practices, modifications or
as well - they could impact some SPCA's and pounds by saying that gas chambers and shooting dogs as forms of euthanasia are inhumane with the line -
(d) prescribing acceptable methods of euthanasia
In the same section is some shitty stuff though -
(f) exempting research activities from the requirements of subsection 23(1) if
the research activities are being conducted pursuant to an audit program approved by
the Canadian Council on Animal Care or an organization prescribed in the regulations;
(3) No regulation may be made pursuant to subsection (1) that is not consistent
with the Canadian Council on Animal Care Guidelines for the scientific use of animals
There's tons of other stuff too, you can only take in so much at once. So that's enough for now I guess.