As of July 1st, 2019, the City of Montreal’s ban on the sale of certain animals in pet stores will take effect. Pet owners recognize the importance of acquiring their animals through reputable sources with a recognized license or permit, which is why over 10,000 signatures have been collected thus far to oppose this new regulation. It isn’t too late to sign the online petition to stand up for the welfare and safety of animals! Over the last few years, various cities across Canada have adopted regulations that ban the sale of certain animals in pet shops that do not come from animal shelters and/or veterinarians. On August 20th, 2018, the City of Montreal voted in favor of adopting this same regulation. These types of bans make pet owners turn to the internet, where animals aren’t inspected and deemed safe and healthy. This is why fifty people representing more than 25 Quebec pet shops lead by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada (PIJAC Canada) and lawyer Yves Pepin have united to take legal action to assert their rights and defend the welfare of animals.
A lawsuit will be filed against the City of Montreal, as well as the request for an injunction to allow the continuation of regular activities in Montreal shops. Mr. Pepin, the lawyer on this case, 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.
If you are a pet store owner in Montreal, lawyer Yves Pepin corroborates that you can continue your usual activities after July 1st as usual. If an inspector from the City of Montreal visits your store, he suggests contacting PIJAC Canada or himself immediately.
PIJAC Canada offers tools to help members engaged with elected officials and stakeholders. The training course on Best Management Practices offers not only help to implement clear instructions for the welfare of their animals, but also to gain recognition among consumers, elected officials and MAPAQ inspectors.
Make sure to let your voice be heard by signing the petition opposing the ban of pets in pet stores. Thank you to those who have already signed and who continue to work to defend the welfare of companion animals.