Forty people representing more than 25 Quebec pet shops took part in an important information session in Boucherville on July 11th. The purpose of the session was to take stock of the situation regarding city regulations advocating a ban on the sale of certain animals in pet shops that do not come from animal shelters and/or veterinarians. Johanne Brazeau of St-Bruno’s Animal Expert was concerned about animal welfare and had invited the PIJAC Canada to share their expertise during the session. She also requested the legal support of Yves Pepin, who was present to answer questions.
Mr. Pepin argues that the Animal Safety and Well-Being Act B-3.1 is clear. Municipalities do not have the power to regulate as they are doing. Section 4 of the Act clearly states that a by-law of a municipality that contravenes this Act is invalid. He adds that in other similar cases businesses have acquired rights according to the case law and therefore it would not apply to businesses already selling animals. Mr. Pepin is going to file a complaint with the Competition Bureau of Canada for unfair competition on behalf of the pet shop owners present at the July 11th session.
PIJAC Canada’s former CEO, Mr. Louis McCann, shared his decades of experience in dealing with past situations similar to those of the City of Montreal with regard to regulating the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits. PIJAC Canada offered a toolkit for retailers to help them engage elected officials and other stakeholders. Mr. McCann also explained the importance of following the municipal news, meeting with municipal officials and being ready to intervene if necessary. The association is committed to sharing its expertise and guiding its members. PIJAC Canada has developed a training course on Best Management Practices for retail operations in partnership with experts in the pet industry. It is offered to its members free online to help them not only implement clear instructions for the welfare of their animals but help them gain recognition among consumers, elected officials and MAPAQ inspectors.
The question and answer period was very enriching, offering clarity on a number of issues and afforded an opportunity for sharing ideas and comments. All participants agreed to unite and move forward to take legal action to assert their rights and defend the welfare of animals.
According to data provided by Rolf C. Hagen Inc. in early July, there are 489 stores including 239 that sell pets in Quebec. The assembled participants would like more store owners to join the group to protect animal welfare and help maintain their right to choose the sources of the pets they provide to Quebecers.
If you would like to join or receive more information, please contact PIJAC Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is the list of participants at the July 11th meeting:
Centre d’animaux Nature
Chico Mercier Est (Hochelaga)
Animalerie mon Favori
Les Animaleries T.D. Zoo
La Grande Ménagerie/ L’Animatout
Animal Expert St-Hubert
Animal Expert St-Bruno
Safari Pet Centre