The Yukon government is seeking public feedback to come up with regulations intended to improve animal welfare and control in the territory.
Prior to a vote on Nov. 15, 2022, in the Yukon Legislative Assembly that saw Liberal and NDP MLAs vote together in favour of the Animal Protection and Control Act, Environment Minister Nils Clarke had pledged to move forward with additional engagement.
The new act is replacing and building on the Animal Protection Act, the Pounds Act and the Dogs Act.
According to Clarke, the act will set standards for the care and humane killing of animals, as well as provide a framework for managing which species of exotic animals may be owned in the Yukon and regulating the operation of animal rescues and pet stores.
While Brad Cathers, the Yukon Party MLA for Lake Laberge, noted there are “some good parts” in the legislation, the Yukon Party voted against it. Despite meetings and public engagement in 2018 and 2019, the Yukon Party called on the Yukon government to consult more before moving forward.
Multiple letters echoing the call were submitted to the Yukon government and tabled in the House.
NDP Leader Kate White addressed the minister’s pledge to consult with affected groups as regulations are being worked on.
“I do really appreciate this chamber’s willingness to make sure that the religious practices of halal and kosher slaughtering are now actually protected under law, as opposed to just being put into regulations,” she said.
“There were lots of reasons why those communities brought forward those concerns, and so we do appreciate the House’s willingness to work with us on that.”
Per an information sheet, changes to animal protection and control laws include regulating the ownership of exotic animals, establishing tools to address animal hoarding, increasing enforcement, creating higher animal welfare standards, regulating animal-related organizations, coming up with control requirements and containment standards, empowering local governments to enforce animal control and making tools to manage feral and high-risk animals.
As part of the engagement process, Yukon government representatives will meet with local governments and affected groups, according to the website. A summary of the feedback will be compiled in a report that will go public after the engagement closes.
People can participate by emailing email@example.com by Aug. 7 about banning cosmetic surgeries, standards of care for dogs or livestock and prohibiting, restricting or allowing exotic species.
Contact Dana Hatherly at firstname.lastname@example.org