Animal Cruelty Laws
Gain a greater understanding of the animal cruelty laws Ontario SPCA investigators use in their efforts to protect animals from abuse, abandonment and neglect and to prosecute offenders by visiting the federal and provincial legislation links below.
Ontario SPCA investigators may enforce any law pertaining to the prevention of cruelty to, and the welfare of, animals. This includes legislation pertaining to animals within the Criminal Code of Canada, the principal tool used by investigators to bring cases of extreme cruelty and neglect to court; the Ontario SPCA Act, the provincial legislation that gives Ontario SPCA investigators their policing powers to act on reported instances of animal cruelty.
Criminal Code of Canada - Cruelty to Animals
In the Criminal Code of Canada, under Cruelty to Animals, Section 445.1(1) states 445.1(1) Every one commits an offence who
- wilfully causes or, being the owner, wilfully permits to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or a bird;
- in any manner encourages, aids or assists at the fighting or baiting of animals or birds;
- wilfully, without reasonable excuse, administers a poisonous or an injurious drug or substance to a domestic animal or bird or an animal or a bird wild by nature that is kept in captivity or, being the owner of such an animal or a bird, wilfully permits a poisonous or an injurious drug or substance to be administered to it;
- promotes, arranges, conducts, assists in, receives money for or takes part in any meeting, competition, exhibition, pastime, practice, display or event at or in the course of which captive birds are liberated by hand, trap, contrivance or any other means for the purpose of being shot when they are liberated; or
- being the owner, occupier or person in charge of any premises, permits the premises or any part thereof to be used for a purpose mentioned in paragraph (d).