Sask. to seek new animal protection agency

(Regis Lefebure photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Saskatchewan’s agriculture ministry plans to seek other options for enforcement of animal protection laws, with three months before the current enforcer’s contract ends.

The ministry confirmed Monday that the Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has decided not to renew its contract for enforcement of the provincial Animal Protection Act.

The Saskatoon-based society’s two-year contract with the province expires March 31. Provincial Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said the ministry “will continue to work with all parties involved to ensure a smooth transition.”

The society today has five full-time animal protection officers (APOs), including three in the Saskatoon head office and one each at satellite offices in Regina and Yorkton.

Under the contract, SPCA APOs investigate and resolve cases involving cruelty to animals in the province, operating mainly in areas not served by local-level SPCAs or humane societies.

“After much discussion our board felt that we can better serve the animals and the public by focusing on education and prevention,” SPCA board president Constance Roussel said in a release Monday.

The society, she said, “will now be able to focus our resources on the prevention of animal cruelty. We are confident that this is the best decision for our organization and the welfare of animals.”

The society, while getting annual funding from the province for enforcement work, noted on its website it’s been increasing efforts on the education side, holding conferences on the subject of animal welfare starting in 2005, boosting its social media presence and raising awareness of “the complex relationship between interpersonal violence and animal abuse.” — Network


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