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December 29, 2003
For immediate release

New Regulations for Pet Stores

Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture & Forestry

The provincial government has approved new regulations under the Companion Animal Protection Act that establish minimum standards for housing cats and dogs in pet stores and animal shelters. The announcement was made today by Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Forestry Minister Kevin MacAdam.

"Prince Edward Island is leading the rest of Canada in establishing standards for proper housing and adequate floor space for cats and dogs," said Mr. MacAdam. "The standards have been adopted in response to concerns about the need to provide humane treatment and to prevent the spread of diseases."

Mr. MacAdam expressed his appreciation to representatives of the Atlantic Veterinary College, the Prince Edward Island Humane Society, the pet store industry and his department who developed the standards.

"Last year the Prince Edward Island Humane Society had 33 complaints concerning conditions in pet stores," said Heather Irving, executive director of the Humane Society. "Complaints involved concerns about substandard living conditions such as overcrowding, the size of cages, poor ventilation and odours, availability of clean water, flooring and the poor condition of some animals. These regulations will clarify minimum standards and hold pet establishments responsible for good animal husbandry practices."

The department routinely inspects pet stores and animal shelters and enforces the minimum standards.

"Providing minimum standards for housing companion animals is an important aspect of animal welfare," said Dr. Alice Crook, coordinator of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre at the AVC. "The new regulations, which are unique in Canada, will go a long way towards addressing this issue."

The regulations became effective on December 13.

Media Contact: Chris Prouse
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