Animal welfare is getting some added enforcement in time for the winter weather. Inspectors can now enter vehicles, in order to help pets in distress in extreme weather.

The new enforcement measures come into effect on New Year's Day, and they're part of Ontario's new animal welfare bill.

"Ontario is now a leader in Canada when it comes to protecting animals, especially when it comes to penalties for offenders," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

The new system comes into force on January 1, and it will improve animal welfare across the province by:

  • Implementing a new enforcement model, including provincial inspectors to provide province-wide coverage, and inspectors with specialized expertise in livestock, zoos, aquariums and equines 
  • Updating prohibitions and obligations, such as barring the return of dog fighting equipment to a person convicted of an offence as well as increasing penalties for offences 
  • Enabling inspectors to enter motor vehicles to help pets in critical distress in extreme weather conditions
  • Establishing new oversight provisions of inspectors that offer increased transparency and accountability, as well as a one-window complaints mechanism for the public
  • Establishing a multi-disciplinary advisory table made up of a wide range of experts, including veterinarians, agriculture representatives, academics, animal advocates and others to provide ongoing advice to the ministry. 

For more information:

Ontario's New Animal Welfare System

District to get better animal protection, minister