NEWMARKET, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 22, 2014) - The Ontario SPCA and Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency (OSMA) are pleased to announce the two organizations have entered into an agreement through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to work together when investigating complaints about animal welfare on sheep farms.

Under the Agreement, both organizations will work together to address concerns of animal abuse or neglect. OSMA will provide technical assistance to Ontario SPCA Officers in cases where inadequate animal care may be occurring on sheep farms.

Further, Ontario SPCA and OSMA have agreed that upon at least 48 hours notice, OSMA will visit a sheep farm in conjunction with Ontario SPCA Officers for the purpose of investigating any complaints or allegations of inadequate animal care.

Similarly, Ontario SPCA has agreed to contact OSMA with at least 48 hours notice, except in situations where animals are in immediate distress, to arrange a joint inspection of the licensed farm property.

In addition, the Ontario SPCA and OSMA will host joint education sessions on a bi-annual basis to exchange information and experiences related to on-farm animal care and Code of Practice issues.

"OSMA is pleased with the agreement and relationship established with the OSPCA. The arrangement aids animal welfare at the farm level, provides education to OSPCA inspectors and benefits the industry as a whole" says OSMA Chair Dennis Fischer.

"Working together with the farming community is very important to us. This is the fifth of recent MOAs that have been developed by the Ontario SPCA and livestock commodity groups" says Chief Inspector, Connie Mallory, Ontario SPCA. "We are pleased to be working together with Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency to help animals in need and enhance Animal Welfare across the province."

About Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency:

The Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency is a producer operated organization which represents all aspects of the sheep, lamb and wool industry in the Province of Ontario. It was established to encourage, promote and represent the industry. The OSMA's activities work to improve the marketing of sheep, lamb and wool through producer education, promotional campaigns, consumer education and public awareness.

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:

Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's Animal Welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of over 50 Communities.

Since 1919, when Ontario's first Animal Welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce Animal Welfare legislation. The Act provides Ontario SPCA Agents and Inspectors with police powers to do so.

Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.

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Charitable Business Number 88969 1044 RR0002

Contact Information:

Provincial Media Contact
Ontario SPCA, Provincial Office
Brad Dewar
Investigation & Communications Officer