A city committee has voted to restrict the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops to those animals that come from certified breeders, the humane society or registered shelter or rescue groups. Toronto currently does not certify breeders. If approved by city council, staff will have to devise a new inspection system that gives breeding operations a municipal stamp of approval if they want to sell to pet shops.
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker hailed the decision by the licensing and standards committee as a “great victory” for consumers and pets. He showed off a beautiful basset hound named Betsy to illustrate the kinds of animals that are available in shelters. “Right now it’s the wild west. If you can get your hands on puppies it doesn’t matter where they’re from and we hear about all sorts of things, people smuggling them in from farms across Ontario,” said Mr. De Baeremaeker. “This is huge, because the black market people selling illegally from puppy mills, it will make it virtually impossible in the city of Toronto to do this.” It’s not clear how much the certification process would cost the city, although Mr. De Baeremaeker believed it could be covered within animal services existing budget.
He had hoped the restrictions would go further, so that pet shops could only sell shelter or rescue animals, but his motion was ruled redundant after a batch of amendments by Councillor Cesar Palacio passed unanimously. The decision stems from a staff report advising against banning the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops entirely, as many speakers at the committee meeting had urged. Read more at www.nationalpost.com