Why is the Government of Ontario exempt from its own anti-cruelty laws, asks the Animal Protection Party of Canada

Ford fast tracking the train and trial compounds

TORONTO, May 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ford government is fast tracking controversial dog train and trial compounds in Bill 91, Less Red Tape, Stronger Economy Act, 2023. Today the Bill passed Third Reading, a process that ran parallel to the Ontario Environmental Registry where Ontarians were supposed to be provided with an opportunity to comment before decisions are made.

“There has been a very strong public reaction to the train and trial compounds,” says Liz White, Leader, Animal Protection Party of Canada. “The Ontario Government has heard from a few hunting and hounding groups and presented the legislation to Ontarians as a fait accompli. The government claims that the wild animals don’t get hurt. However, the legislation speaks for itself. Nowhere does it prohibit the dogs from attacking and killing the coyotes, foxes and rabbits. In fact, there are provisions in the regulations addressing injured animals. The cruelty suffered by coyotes, foxes and rabbits is ignored by Premier Ford and his party even though the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act is clear in its prohibition of such activities.”

“The Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act prohibits animal fighting and causing animals distress and harm, all of which occurs in these train and trial compounds,” observes Barry MacKay, Director, Animal Alliance of Canada. “Coyotes, foxes and rabbits are trapped in these compounds and 50 or more dogs are let loose to harass, chase to exhaustion and maybe even kill them. My question to the government is this – if PAWS has jurisdiction over wildlife in captivity as it pertains to wildlife rehabilitation, why not wildlife in captivity in these compounds?“

“Coyotes in Ontario have been treated as vermin by successive governments. They are hunted 365 days of the year with no bag limits. Pups are left to die of starvation and dehydration when their parents are killed. The government does not even act on the illegal coyote killing contests,” adds White.

“It is astounding that the 'law and order Ford government' has decided to sidestep its own anti-cruelty legislation in favour of a tiny minority of hound hunters,” notes MacKay. “Dogs chasing, harassing and cornering coyotes is certainly defined as dog fighting, an act that most Ontarians would not believe would ever be sanctioned by any modern government and be so out of sync with the moral values of the majority of its citizens. The government’s approach on this issue is to be fully blind to the brutal realities of these compounds.”

Liz White, Leader
Animal Protection Party of Canada

Barry MacKay, Director
Animal Alliance of Canada