Monday, August 9, 2010

OSPCA Press Release Announces Investigation

Dr. Alan Meek and former Ontario Superior Court Chief Justice Patrick LeSage appointed to oversee external review
Newmarket, ON (August 9, 2010) - The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Alan H. Meek and the Honourable Patrick LeSage, Q.C., will lead an independent External Review of the events leading up to, during and immediately following the ringworm outbreak that took place in May at the Ontario SPCA’s York Region Branch.
Dr. Meek will examine the protocols and procedures in place that were meant to prevent an outbreak of this kind, and determine whether they were breached. Dr. Meek will also examine all aspects of how the outbreak was managed by Ontario SPCA staff.
Mr. LeSage will advise on non-veterinary issues that emerge during the review.
Dr. Meek is one of Ontario’s most highly respected veterinarians, having been a faculty member of the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College for over 30 years, where he also served as Dean. Patrick LeSage served as a judge for 29 years, including Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court from 1996 to 2002. Since retiring in 2004, Mr. LeSage has served on the Board of Governors of York University, been elected a senior fellow of Massey College at the University of Toronto, and been appointed a commissioner of the Ontario Securities Commission. Mr. LeSage was appointed to review Ontario’s police complaints system, completed in 2005. In 2008, he was appointed by Ontario’s Attorney General to review large and complex criminal case procedures.
They will have unfettered access to all Ontario SPCA staff, volunteers and managers, as well as all outside experts who were consulted regarding the ringworm outbreak. Furthermore, they have the authority to engage additional expertise at their discretion. They will report to the Ontario SPCA Board upon the completion of the review.
“We are pleased to welcome such distinguished Ontarians as Dr. Meek and Mr. LeSage to report on the events that led up to the unfortunate ringworm outbreak, and we offer our full co-operation as they embark on this important review,” said Ontario SPCA Chair Rob Godfrey. “We are hopeful that this review can lead to significant improvements in animal shelter management, not just within the Ontario SPCA, but throughout North America, so that we can better fulfill our public trust.”
Dr. Meek was appointed through a process in which the Ontario SPCA was not involved. The University of Guelph was asked to recommend three candidates with the appropriate expertise. The names and credentials of those recommended were sent to the British Columbia SPCA’s Chief Executive Officer, who made the final decision appointing Dr. Meek.
Mr. Godfrey will make the review public at the earliest opportunity and immediately undertake the appropriate actions necessary to prevent a similar crisis from occurring in the future.
For more information contact:
Rosaline Ryan
Director, Marketing and Communications
Ontario SPCA
Mobile (416) 428-9886
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA): Protecting animals since 1873, the Ontario SPCA is a registered charity comprised of over 50 Communities relying primarily on donations to fund animal protection, care and rehabilitation; advocacy; and humane education. The Ontario SPCA Act mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws and provides Society investigators with police powers to do so - making the Ontario SPCA unique among animal welfare organizations in the province. The Ontario SPCA is affiliated with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Adopt - Volunteer - Donate! Charitable Business Number 88969 1044 RR0002

Menu Foods to be acquired by U.S. Pet food company

TORONTO -- Toronto-based Menu Foods Income Fund, infamous for a widespread tainted pet food recall in 2007 after cats and dogs died from melamine poisoning, has agreed to sell itself to Arkansas-based Simmons Pet Food Inc. in a deal worth $239-million.
The deal, subject to unitholder approval, would see Simmons acquire the fund and assume its existing debt. After disposition of Menu's assets, the fund's units will be redeemed for $4.80 each in cash.
This is a 65.5% premium on the March 15 closing price of $2.90, when the fund said it would undertake a strategic review, and a 46.8% premium on its closing price of $3.27 on Aug. 6, Simmons said in a release.
Simmons expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.
"With this transaction, we are adding one of North America's leading private label pet food manufacturers to our portfolio and further strengthening our company," Mark Simmons, chairman of parent Simmons Pet Foods Inc., said in a release.
Menu Foods never recovered after it had to recall 60 million cans of pet food across North America in 2007. The food, imported from China and suspected to contain melamine, killed at least 14 pets due to kidney failure.
The company estimated the recall cost about $55-million.
Financial Post

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