I was so pleased when New Jersey passed the anti-declawing law recently. Now Nova Scotia Canada has made me stand up and wave the Canadian flag with pride. The new rules came into effect December 2, 2016.
Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell said in a news release “the new standards will help ensure cats and dogs are properly cared for and protected”. The new rules forbid tethering for more than 12 consecutive hours, and require a certificate of health from a veterinarian to sell a cat or dog.
And, for the first time the government is updating their Animal Protection Act to specifically include cats. The Act will be explicit in its definitions of what constitutes abuse of cats. The change is an attempt to give law enforcement officers more power to go after those who abandon a family pet, because getting rid of a pet by simply letting it go will be considered abuse.
Elizabeth Murphy, CEO of the Nova Scotia SPCA, said her organization is “very pleased” with the new regulations, which she said were “very badly needed, We’re really excited that now we have the ability to be able to protect cats against cruelty.”
From the Nova Scotia SPCA website:
ANIMAL CRUELTY; can be either deliberate abuse; or simply neglecting to provide adequate food, water, shelter or necessary medical care.
It can include keeping an animal in distress: Failure to properly groom your pet - severely overgrown nails, matted fur etc. is neglecting your animal and can be extremely painful and cause serious discomfort for your pet.
Failing to provide adequate medical care: Infestations left untreated (fleas, mites, worms, mange, ticks etc.) is considered neglect and failure to provide medical care.
Failing to provide an animal with adequate food and water.
Abandonment: People move, and leave their animals behind. Animal abandonment is against the law, and considered animal cruelty.
Leaving an animal in a vehicle unattended in conditions that could cause distress. Animal control officers now have the legal right to break a window if the owner cannot be located.
An animal’s owner or caretaker must ensure that the animal has continuous access to a shelter if the animal is kept outdoors (if kept in a pen or tethered).
Shelters must provide protection from... Heat, Cold, Direct Sunlight, Rain, Wind, Sleet and snow. Clean, dry bedding must be provided and enclosures must consist of four sides, a roof and floor. Housing must be properly insulated (double walled), wire flooring is unacceptable and houses should be on a raised platform- as not to absorb the cold from the ground. A flap is required on the door for protection.
Cats who are outdoors must have adequate shelter from injurious weather. Double walled houses are required in cold weather - insulated so that heat stays in and cold out. It must be configured to prevent the animal from doing any of the following: Moving over an edge, such as the edge of a wall or stairway, in a manner that could result in strangulation or injury of the animal It must not cause discomfort for the animal because of its weight.
In 2014, the NS SPCA Cruelty Officers had 100% conviction rate in court against animal abusers.