Province Unveils Draft Standards of Care for Animal Protection Act - February 27, 2014

Dogs will no longer be allowed to be tethered for more than 12 hours at a time under draft standards of care released Feb. 27, by Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell.

Through regulations, standards of care aim to prevent distress and cruelty and to strengthen the protection of companion animals in Nova Scotia. They also include regulation of companion animal restraints, outdoor care, shelters, companion animal pens and enclosures, abandonment of companion animals as well as the transportation and sale of companion animals.

The Minister and department officials met with various animal protection groups since last fall. These consultations followed online feedback from Nova Scotians last summer. As a result, the draft standards of care were expanded to cover cats.

Part of the proposed changes are to add Animal Protection Act infractions to the list of summary offence tickets. This would allow the SPCA and other enforcement officials, including bylaw officers in municipalities, to issue tickets for certain infractions including tethering a dog for longer than 12 hours a day.

During the next month, the department will seek public input into the draft standards of care. Interested Nova Scotians are asked to fill out a feedback questionnaire on the department's website and either e-mail or mail their response no later than March 31.