2011 Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings™

Posted on May 16, 2011

A new in-depth survey of the animal protection laws of each province and territory confirms that there remain considerable differences in the strength and comprehensiveness of each jurisdiction’s laws. The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s fourth annual report, “2011 Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings” – the only one of its kind in Canada – was based on a detailed comparative analysis of the animal protection laws of each jurisdiction, researching thirteen specific categories of provisions throughout hundreds of pages of statutes. Each province and territory received a numerical ranking based upon its combined score and was also grouped into a top, middle or bottom tier.

Download the full report (PDF)

Download the Canadian rankings map

Canadian<br /><br />
Animal Protection Laws Map

2011 Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings

Comparing Overall Strength & Comprehensiveness

Top Tier: 1. Ontario
New Brunswick
4. Nova Scotia
Middle Tier: 5. Saskatchewan
British Columbia
8. Prince Edward Island
9. Newfoundland & Labrador
Bottom Tier: 10. Alberta
Northwest Territories
13. Nunavut

For the third year in a row, Ontario occupied the top spot in the
rankings due to its wide array of animal protection laws. Ontario was
joined in the top tier by Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Saskatchewan showed the most improvement overall, moving from seventh
last year to fifth place this year. Saskatchewan’s improved ranking was
due in part to its enactment of stiffer penalties for offenses, and for
extending the scope of its laws to include actions taken by anyone – not
just an animal’s owner. Animal abusers in Saskatchewan now face
imprisonment for up to two years and a $25,000 fine. Manitoba regained
its position as the second best province owing to stronger laws
regulating the ownership of animals following a conviction or when on
owner is determined by a court to be unable to care for an animal, and
for requiring veterinarians to report suspected offenses. The Northwest
Territories revamped its dog protections, leading to an improvement in
its score. At the bottom of the rankings, Quebec and Nunavut each
respectively held the position as the province and territory with the
weakest laws for protecting animals.

“This report identifies
what each province and territory is doing individually with respect to
their animal protection laws,” says Stephan Otto, ALDF’s former director of
legislative affairs and author of the report. “Since ALDF began
publishing these rankings in 2008, there has been a marked improvement
in the laws of many of the provinces and territories, and more advances
are on the way.”

Some of the highlights:

  • Seven jurisdictions have increased the maximum penalties for offenses (BC, NB, NT, NS, ON, SK, YT)
  • Five have improved the standards of care for animals (BC, NB, NT, NS, ON)
  • Three provinces have enacted provisions requiring veterinarians to report suspected cruelty (MB, NS, ON)
  • Three jurisdictions have broadened the range of protections (NT, ON, SK)
  • One now authorizes courts to require mental health counseling by offenders (ON)
  • Five jurisdictions have enacted stronger inspection/seizure/oversight authority (BC, NB, NT, ON, YT)
  • Three have increased restrictions on ownership of animals following a conviction (MB, NT, ON)

“While we remain hopeful for additional improvements with the
federal laws, much can continue to take place at the provincial and
territorial level,” added Otto. “Yet, even as many jurisdictions are
making substantial steps forward, others are not. Irrespective of where
each jurisdiction currently ranks, every province and territory has
ample room for improvement.”

A sizable majority of all households
now include at least one animal, and polls continue to show that we
care deeply about our furry companions and their welfare.  ALDF’s goals
in these ongoing reviews are to continue to shed light on this important
issue, to compare and contrast the differences and similarities in the
provinces and territories, and to garner support for both the
strengthening and enforcement of animal protection laws throughout the

ALDF encourages those who care about the welfare and
protection of animals to contact their elected officials about the
importance of having strong, comprehensive laws in this field, and to
alert law enforcement should they ever witness animal abuse or neglect.

The full report (PDF),
including a rankings map and overview of the strengths and weaknesses
of the animal protection laws of each province and territory, is
available to download here. ALDF’s latest edition of the “Animal Protection Laws
of the U.S.A. and Canada”
compendium (on which the report is
principally based) and ALDF’s Model Animal
Protection Laws
collection, is also available.

Canadian Animal Protection Laws Rankings Map Downloads

PDF, Black & White | Download

PDF, Color | Download

JPG, Black & White, 150 dpi | Download

JPG, Color, 150 dpi | Download

Annual Animal Protection Laws Rankings Reports

United States: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | Current
Canada: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012


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