By Connor Lynch
The OSPCA will not renew its contract with the government and will no longer enforce animal rights legislation in Ontario.
The organization announced on March 4 that it would not be renewing its contract, which was to expire March 31, but that it would give the province a three-month window to June 28 to put a new system in place.
That window, however, is only for pets; the OSPCA will no longer deal with livestock concerns after March 31.
In a statement, OSPCA CEO Kate MacDonald said: “Enforcement is the responsibility of government, one that we can confidently support by offering animal protection services to enforcement agencies. It is simply not in the interests of animals or this charity to continue along the same path.”
The OSPCA wants to move into a support role where it accompanies police or provides expertise. MacDonald said that the OSPCA has “struggled to meet the need,” with “officer safety,” and “conflicts with our charitable mission.”
The provincial government only announced last month it would be appealing a ruling that had struck down the OSPCA’s policing powers as unconstitutional, since the OSPCA Act did not include “transparency and oversight,” of its work or policies. The OSPCA in particular is not subject to the Ombudsman Act, the Police Services Act or Freedom of Information requests.
MacDonald said that ruling was the “catalyst” for the OSPCA’s decision to step away from enforcement.
The Ontario Landowners Association spent three years arguing their case before a ruling came down, largely in their favour on Jan. 2, 2019.