Provincial and Territorial Legislation Concerning Farm Animal Welfare

Canadian provinces and territories have the primary responsibility for protecting the welfare of animals, including farm animals. All provinces and territories have laws in respect to animal welfare. Provincial and territorial legislation and regulations tend to be general in scope, covering a wide range of animal welfare interests. Some provinces and territories have regulations that govern specific aspects of animal welfare or are related to certain species.

The Criminal Code of Canada prohibits anyone from wilfully causing animals to suffer from neglect, pain or injury. The Criminal Code is enforced by police services, provincial and territorial Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and/or provincial and territorial ministries of agriculture.

The roles of the provinces and territories are described below.

Alberta

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in Alberta.

British Columbia

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in British Columbia.

Manitoba

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in Manitoba.

  • Animal Care Act and Animal Care Regulation - PDF (126 kb)
    • apply to most farm animals during all activities including transport, excluding generally accepted practices
    • enforced by the Office of the Chief Veterinarian, special animal protection officers and police officers
New Brunswick

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in New Brunswick.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Nova Scotia

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in Nova Scotia.

  • Animal Health and Protection Act
    • addresses destroying diseased animals, quarantine, vaccination, and testing
    • enforced by inspectors designated by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Animal Protection Act
    • protects all animals during any activity, excluding generally accepted practices of animal management husbandry or slaughter
    • enforced by inspectors designated by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Meat Inspection Act/Regulations Respecting Slaughter
    • protect most farm animals during slaughter
    • enforced by inspectors designated by the Ministry of Agriculture
  • Baby Chick Protection Act
    • prohibits displaying or selling artificially coloured living chickens
    • enforced by the Department of Agriculture
Northwest Territories

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in the Northwest Territories.

Nunavut

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in Nunavut.

  • Herd and Fencing Act
    • protects most farm animals during housing (fencing)
    • enforced by officers appointed by the Commissioner
Ontario

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in Ontario.

Prince Edward Island

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in Prince Edward Island.

Quebec

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in Quebec.

Saskatchewan

The following acts and regulations provide protection for farm animals in Saskatchewan.

  • Animal Protection Act - PDF (142 kb)
    • protects all animals from being in distress
    • states that an animal is not considered to be in distress if it is handled in a manner consistent with generally accepted practices of animal management or standard or code of practice
    • enforced by an animal protection officer, which includes by definition a member of the RCMP, municipal police service or a person appointed as an animal protection officer
  • Animal Products Act and Livestock Dealer Regulations
    • protect any farm animal, including fertilized ova, fish and bees during production, manufacture, sale, purchase and transport
    • outline the licensing and conduct of persons dealing in livestock, and respecting the methods of reporting and payment for livestock
    • provide protection to vendors of livestock when selling livestock to a licensed dealer
    • enforced by the Minister of Agriculture and appointed inspectors
  • Animal Products Act and Livestock Inspection and Transportation Regulations
    • provide for inspection and detention of animals being transported in the province and for export to confirm ownership
    • outline criteria for transporting livestock
    • enforced by the Minister of Agriculture and appointed inspectors
  • Animal Products Act and Saskatchewan Egg Regulations
    • license persons dealing in egg and egg products
    • define grade standards
    • prescribe the manner and conditions of grading, inspection, packaging, marketing, advertising, branding and labelling
    • prescribe the standards of construction of equipment, maintenance and operation of facilities
    • outline methods for the reporting of, and paying for, eggs and egg products
    • enforced by the Minister of Agriculture and appointed inspectors
Yukon

The following act provides protection for farm animals in Yukon.

  • Animal Protection Act - PDF (308 kb)
    • protects all farm animals from distress and cruelty during any activity
    • enforced by the Yukon Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and police officers