Bill 100 2001
An Act to ban puppy mills and other
cruel animal-breeding activities
and to protect animals bred
for commercial sale from abuse
by amending the Ontario Society
for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals Act
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
1. Section 1 of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is amended by adding the following definition:
"chief executive" means the chief executive officer of the Society; ("directeur")
2. Section 8 of the Act is amended by striking out "and" at the end of clause (d) and by adding the following clause:
(d.1) may require the payment of fees in connection with licences under this Act and establish the amounts of such fees; and
. . . . .
3. Section 12 of the Act, as amended by the Statutes of Ontario, 1997, chapter 39, section 11, is further amended by adding the following subsections:
(2.1) For the purposes of ensuring that this Act and the regulations are being complied with, an inspector or agent of the Society may, without a warrant,
(a) enter any premises, building or place, other than a dwelling, where any aspect of the business of breeding animals for sale is being carried on, either alone or accompanied by a veterinarian; and
(b) require the production or furnishing by the owner or custodian of any books, records or documents, or of extracts from them, of persons licensed under this Act relating to the business of breeding animals.
Production of records, etc.
(2.2) Where an inspector or agent requires the production or furnishing of books, records, documents or extracts from them, the person having custody of them shall produce or furnish them to the inspector or agent who may detain them for the purpose of making copies and thereafter return them to the person who produced or furnished them.
Certification of copy
(2.3) Where a copy of a book, record, document or extract is made under subsection (2.2) and is certified by a person authorized to do so, it is admissible in evidence and has the same probative force as the original document would have had if it had been proven in the ordinary way.
4. The Act is amended by adding the following sections:
Cease and desist order
13.1 (1) Where, in carrying out his or her duties under this Act, an inspector or agent of the Society becomes aware or has reasonable grounds for believing that an animal is in distress or in immediate danger of being in distress in any place where the breeding of animals for sale is carried on, the inspector or agent may order the owner or custodian or, if the owner or custodian is not present, any other person present in the place to immediately cease all of the activities relating to such breeding and all other activities causing or contributing to the distress of an animal.
Form of order
(2) The order under subsection (1) may be made orally or in writing, may be made without prior notice and is effective immediately.
Timeliness of written order
(3) An order under subsection (1) that is given orally shall be provided in writing as soon as practicable in the circumstances and in no case later than seven days after the oral order is given.
Immediate suspension of licence
(4) The inspector or agent who makes the order shall immediately inform the chief executive of having done so and, where the order relates to a business for which a licence has been issued, the chief executive shall immediately suspend the licence holder's licence under subsection 22 (2).
. . . . .
14.1 No person shall hinder or obstruct an inspector or agent of the Society in the course of his or her duties or furnish the inspector or agent with false information, or refuse to furnish him or her with information.
5. Subsection 18 (1) of the Act is amended by striking out "Ontario Court (General Division)" and substituting "Superior Court of Justice".
6. The Act is amended by adding the following sections:
20. (1) No person shall engage in the business of breeding animals for sale, whether directly or indirectly, without a licence to do so from the chief executive.
Conditions of licence
(2) A licence is subject to the conditions that the holder of the licence,
(a) treat the animals that are being bred and all other animals on the premises where the business of breeding animals is being carried on in a humane way, without cruelty or abuse, in accordance with the regulations;
(b) maintain in good sanitary condition all premises, buildings, equipment and other things used in the business of breeding animals;
(c) give, in accordance with subsection 12 (2.1), an inspector or agent of the Society access to the premises where the business of breeding animals is being carried on, for the purpose of ensuring that this Act and the regulations are being complied with; and
(d) comply with this Act and the regulations and any other conditions that are imposed by the regulations.
Where licence not necessary
(3) It is not necessary to hold a licence under this Act to engage in the business of breeding animals for agricultural purposes.
21. (1) The chief executive shall issue a licence to a person who makes an application therefore in accordance with this Act and the regulations and pays the required fee unless, after a hearing, the chief executive is of the opinion that,
(a) the applicant or, where the applicant is a corporation, its officers or directors are not competent to carry on the business that would be authorized by the licence;
(b) the past conduct of the applicant or, where the applicant is a corporation, of its officers or directors affords reasonable grounds for belief that the business that would be authorized by the licence will not be carried on in accordance with law;
(c) the applicant does not possess or will not have available all premises, facilities and equipment necessary to carry on the business authorized by the licence in accordance with this Act and the regulations; or
(d) the applicant is not in a position to observe or carry out the provisions of this Act and the regulations.
(2) The chief executive shall not issue a licence to an applicant or, where the applicant is a corporation, to any officer or director of the corporation who has been convicted of an offence under subsection 31 (1) (animal cruelty) or (2) (operating business of breeding animals for sale without a licence).
Duration of licence
(3) A licence issued under this section expires three years after its date of issue.
(4) Subject to section 22, the chief executive shall renew a licence on application therefore by the licensee in accordance with this Act and the regulations and payment of the required fee.
Refusal to renew, suspension or cancellation
22. (1) The chief executive may refuse to renew or may suspend or revoke a licence if, after a hearing, he or she is of the opinion that,
(a) the premises, facilities and equipment used in the business carried on pursuant to the licence do not comply with this Act and the regulations;
(b) the licensee or, where the licensee is a corporation, any officer, director or employee of the corporation has contravened or has permitted any person under the licensee's control or direction in connection with the business carried on pursuant to the licence to contravene this Act or the regulations or of any other Act or the regulations thereunder or of any law applying to the carrying on of such business or the conditions for licensing; or
(c) any other ground for refusal to renew, suspension or revocation specified in the regulations exists.
Provisional suspension, etc.
(2) Despite subsection (1), the chief executive, by notice to a licensee and without a hearing, may provisionally refuse to renew or suspend the licensee's licence where, in the chief executive's opinion, it is necessary to do so for the immediate prevention of cruelty to an animal or the protection or relief of any animal from cruelty or any other act constituting abuse under the regulations and the chief executive so states in such notice giving reasons therefore, and thereafter the chief executive shall hold a hearing to determine whether renewal of the licence should be refused or whether the licence should be further suspended or revoked under this Act and the regulations.
Continuation of licence pending renewal
(3) Subject to subsection (2), where, within the time prescribed therefore or, if no time is prescribed, before expiry of a licence, the licensee has applied for renewal of the licence and has paid the required fee and observed or carried out the provisions of this Act and the regulations, the existing licence shall be deemed to continue until the licensee has received the decision of the chief executive on the application for renewal.
Notice of hearing
23. (1) The notice of a hearing given by the chief executive under section 21 or 22 shall afford to the applicant or licensee a reasonable opportunity to show or to achieve compliance before the hearing with all lawful requirements for the issue or retention of the licence.
Examination of documentary evidence
(2) An applicant or licensee who is a party to proceedings in which the chief executive holds a hearing shall be afforded an opportunity to examine before the hearing any written or documentary evidence that will be produced or any report the contents of which will be given in evidence at the hearing.
Variation of decision by chief executive
24. Where the chief executive has refused to issue or renew or has suspended or revoked a licence pursuant to a hearing, the chief executive may, at any time of his or her own motion or on the motion of the person who was the applicant or licensee, vary or rescind his or her decision, but the chief executive shall not vary or rescind a decision adversely to the interests of any person without holding a rehearing to which such person is a party and may make such decision pursuant to such rehearing as he or she considers proper under this Act and the regulations.
Appeal to Board
25. (1) Where the chief executive refuses to issue or renew or suspends or revokes a licence, the applicant or licensee may appeal to the Board by written notice delivered to the chief executive and filed with the Board within 15 days after receipt of the chief executive's decision.
Extension of time for appeal
(2) The Board may extend the time for the giving of notice by an applicant or licensee under subsection (1), either before or after expiration of such time, where it is satisfied that there are apparent grounds for appeal and that there are reasonable grounds for applying for the extension.
Disposal of appeal
(3) Where an applicant or licensee appeals to the Board under this section, the Board shall hear the appeal by way of a new hearing to determine whether the licence should be issued, renewed, suspended or revoked and may, after the hearing, confirm or alter the decision of the chief executive or direct him or her to do any act he or she is authorized to do under this Act and as the Board considers proper and, for such purpose, the Board may substitute its opinion for that of the chief executive.
Effect of decision pending disposal of appeal
(4) If an applicant or licensee has appealed under this section from a decision of the chief executive, unless the chief executive otherwise directs, the chief executive's decision is effective until the appeal is disposed of.
26. (1) The chief executive, the appellant and such other persons as the Board may specify are parties to the proceedings before the Board under this Act.
Members making decision not to have taken
part in investigation, etc.
(2) Members of the Board assigned to render a decision after a hearing shall not have taken part prior to the hearing in any investigation or consideration of the subject-matter of the hearing and shall not communicate directly or indirectly in relation to the subject-matter of the hearing with any person or with any party or party's representative except upon notice to and opportunity for all parties to participate, but such members may seek legal advice from an adviser independent from the parties and in such case the nature of the advice should be made known to the parties in order that they may make submissions as to the law.
Recording of evidence
(3) The oral evidence taken before the Board at a hearing shall be recorded and, if so required, copies of a transcript thereof shall be furnished upon the same terms as in the Superior Court of Justice.
Findings of fact
(4) The findings of fact of the Board pursuant to a hearing shall be based exclusively on evidence admissible or matters that may be noticed under sections 15 and 16 of the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.
Only members at hearing to participate in decision
(5) No member of the Board shall participate in a decision of the Board pursuant to a hearing unless the member was present throughout the hearing and heard the evidence and argument of the parties and, except with the consent of the parties, no decision of the Board shall be given unless all persons so present participate in the decision.
Appeal to court
27. (1) Any party to the hearing before the Board may appeal from the decision of the Board to the Divisional Court in accordance with the rules of court.
Minister entitled to be heard
(2) The Minister responsible for the administration of this Act is entitled to be heard by counsel or otherwise upon the argument of an appeal under this section.
Record to be filed in court
(3) The chair of the Board shall file with the Superior Court of Justice the record of the proceedings before the Board which, together with a transcript of the evidence before the Board, if it is not part of the Board's record, shall constitute the record in the appeal.
Powers of court on appeal
(4) An appeal under this section may be made on any question that is not a question of fact alone and the court may confirm or alter the decision of the Board or direct the chief executive to do any act that he or she is authorized to do under this Act or may refer the matter back to the Board for reconsideration by it as the court considers proper, and the court may substitute its opinion for that of the chief executive or the Board.
Effect of decision of Board pending disposal of appeal
(5) If an applicant or licensee has appealed under this section from a decision of the Board, unless the Board otherwise directs, the decision of the Board is effective until the appeal is disposed of.
28. A licence holder shall make and keep for at least 12 months those records prescribed under the regulations.
Register of licensed businesses
29. (1) The Society shall establish and maintain a register of licence holders under this Act, which shall include their names, business addresses, information relating to the status of the licence and other information prescribed by the regulations, and shall provide that information to the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
Access to information
(2) The Society and the Ministry shall ensure public access to the information in the register by posting it on their respective websites and by any other means appropriate to achieving that purpose.
30. Where the Society, the chief executive or an inspector or agent of the Society are for any reason unable to carry out the responsibilities conferred on them under this Act, the Ministry of the Solicitor General shall act in the place of the Society, the Solicitor General or another person designated by the Solicitor General shall act in the place of the chief executive and an inspector or agent of the Ministry shall act in the place of an inspector or agent of the Society.
31. (1) Every person involved in any way in the breeding of animals for sale who treats an animal with cruelty, abuses an animal, subjects an animal to undue or unnecessary hardship, privation or neglect or otherwise fails to treat an animal humanely or who encourages, consents to or acquiesces in any such treatment is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than two years less a day, or to both.
(2) Every person who carries on the business of breeding animals for sale without a licence for the purpose is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than two years less a day, or to both.
(3) Every owner or operator of a pet store or other retail outlet is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than two years less a day,
(a) who offers for sale or sells an animal that the owner or operator knew or ought reasonably to have known was treated with cruelty, abused, subjected to undue or unnecessary hardship, privation or neglect or otherwise treated inhumanely; or
(b) who offers for sale or sells an animal that the owner or operator knew or ought reasonably to have known was obtained,
(i) from a person who was carrying on the business of breeding animals for sale without a licence under this Act; or
(ii) from a person who, in another province or territory of Canada, was carrying on the business of breeding animals for sale without a licence or other similar authorization obtained from the proper authority in the province or territory concerned.
(4) Except as otherwise provided in this section, every person who contravenes any provision of this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000.
32. (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,
(a) providing for the issue, renewal, suspension or revocation of or refusal to issue or renew licences and prescribing the fees payable for licences or the renewal thereof;
(b) exempting classes of persons from the requirement under section 20 to hold a licence, in such circumstances as may be prescribed and subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed;
(c) prescribing conditions for licensing in addition to those mentioned in subsection 20 (2);
(d) prescribing grounds for the purposes of clause 22 (1) (c);
(e) exempting any person, animal or premises or class of person, animal or premises from the application of any provision of this Act or the regulations;
(f) governing practices and procedures with respect to the breeding of animals, including prescribing standards and requirements with respect to breeding, and specifying what constitutes cruelty to animals, animal abuse or inhumane treatment of animals;
(g) prescribing the manner in which premises, buildings and other things used in the business of breeding animals shall be cleaned and maintained;
(h) respecting the transportation of animals;
(i) respecting the facilities and equipment to be provided and maintained on the premises where the business of breeding animals is carried on;
(j) prescribing the records to be made and kept by holders of licences;
(k) prescribing forms and providing for their use;
(l) prescribing other information respecting licence holders to be kept in the register established under subsection 29 (1);
(m) respecting any matter necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.
(2) A regulation may be general or particular in its application and may prescribe different rules for different persons, animals or premises or different classes of persons, animals or premises.
7. This Act comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.
8. The short title of this Act is the Puppy Mill Ban and Animal Cruelty Prevention Act, 2001.
The purpose of the Bill is to ban puppy mills and other cruel animal-breeding activities and to protect animals bred for sale from cruelty and abuse by amendments to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The Bill proposes a licensing scheme under which persons in the business of breeding animals for sale will be required to hold a licence from the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Under the new subsection 31 (2) of the Act, failure to obtain such a licence is an offence carrying a fine of between $10,000 and $50,000, or a term of imprisonment, or both. Proposed subsection 31 (1) provides the same penalty for persons operating an animal-breeding business who are convicted of treating animals inhumanely. Pet stores and others who are convicted of offering for sale or selling animals knowing or reasonably suspecting that those animals have been treated inhumanely are liable to the same penalty. A person who has been convicted of an offence under subsection 31 (1) or (2) is banned from ever again obtaining a licence to operate an animal-breeding business.
Enforcement of the licensing scheme is supported by expanded powers of inspection. Subsection 12 (2.1) proposes that an inspector may, without a warrant, enter any premises where commercial animal-breeding is carried on in order to ensure compliance with the Act and regulations. On becoming aware or having reasonable grounds to believe that an animal is in distress, an inspector may also issue a cease and desist order requiring the cessation of animal-breeding activities on the premises.
The new section 29 of the Act provides for the establishment of a register containing information on all licensed animal-breeding businesses. The public will have access to the information in the registry.