Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole announced his party's plan to ban puppy mills, and "end abuse and violence against animals, and protect the humans who care for them."
In a statement released on Monday, the Conservatives wrote that "During the pandemic, many Canadians opened up their homes to welcome a pet. In fact, over half of Canadian homes now have a pet and 90 per cent of Canadian pet owners see their pet as a family member. However, this trend has brought to light additional issues for animal welfare, including a surge in unethical breeding and animal abuse."
"We also know that there is a link between cruelty to animals and violence towards people," said O’Toole. "Canada’s Conservatives will add animal cruelty as an aggravating factor in domestic violence prosecutions to go after abusers who hurt their spouse by hurting their spouse’s pet. We will also support pet owners fleeing violence by working with shelters to ensure that there are better options for women to leave abusive homes without having to abandon their pets."
Canada’s Conservatives plan to:
- Ban puppy mills and stop imports of animals bred inhumanely.
- Strengthen the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s ability to enforce current regulations and seize animals when imported under poor welfare conditions.
- Ban cosmetic testing on animals.
- Add animal cruelty as an aggravating factor in domestic violence prosecutions to go after abusers who hurt their spouse by hurting their pet.
- Support pet owners fleeing violence by working with the sector to ensure there are better options for women to leave abusive homes without having to abandon their pets.
- Provide $10 million a year to train judges and prosecutors on the links between violence against animals and violence against people.
- Work with the Council of Ministers of Education to promote animal welfare education as part of a child’s education on the environment and sustainability.
"As someone who is proud to call our dog Wexford not only a loyal companion and best friend, but a part of our family, I will work diligently to secure the future for our furry friends," O’Toole said.