The identification of working horses in downtown Victoria is one of the changes to the City of Victoria’s animal control bylaws being proposed by the BC SPCA. News file photo

BC SPCA proposes fines for animal mistreatment, reduction in commercial trade

Animal welfare group’s ideas brought to Victoria councillors

The BC SPCA wants Victoria to fine pet owners for mistreatment, see pet stores further regulated, and working horses ID’d.

The organization’s proposed animal control bylaw amendments, brought forward by Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, were discussed Thursday morning by Victoria council sitting as committee of the whole.

Amy Morris, BC SPCA’s public outreach officer, provided a snapshot of the proposed amendments. Firstly, the organization is recommending an end to the retail sales of commercially-bred animals.

“We’d like to see pet stores implement an ‘adoption model’ that matches animals with the appropriate home,” she said. “Currently, the commercial market is overpopulated and we’d like to reduce the number of animals being bred purely for sale.”

The organization also wants a fine system implemented by the City to prevent the hitting, choking, kicking of animals as well as the use of shock collars. Morris noted that some owners who learned behaviour modification techniques from television trainers have actually harmed their animals. “We see this fine as a way to educate the public.”

Finally, the group is calling for the identification of working horses in downtown Victoria, so that residents can report any concerns for their welfare.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Victoria councillors’ responses to the BC SPCA requests.

anna.james@vicnews.com

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