Toronto - On May 31 Toronto City Hall will discuss the banning of dog and cat sales at retail pet stores. The measure was meant to curb the sale of puppy mill operations and to lower impulse buying of animals that often wind up in shelters that euthanize animals.
On May 13 a report was released for review by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards recommending that the city amend Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545. The report's purpose was to examine if it was appropriate to ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet shops and other retail outlets in order to deal with members of the public's concerns. Those concerns were for an all out ban of the sale of dog and cats in the retail market place. The public members proposed the ban to address the number of unwanted pets, impulse purchases of cats and dogs in pet stores, the supply and demand for dogs from puppy mills, the overpopulation of feral cats as well as the concerns about the care and treatment of cats and dogs kept in pet stores for sale. The report does not recommend an outright ban citing it could have a significant negative economic impact on pet shop owners. Instead the report requests that the 11 establishments that sell animals in Toronto are inspected regularly for compliance of by-laws. Canadian Kennel Club breeders are prohibited from selling their animals to pet stores under its code of ethics policy. The proposals are not against CKC registered breeders who do not supply retail pet stores with their animals. The sad news for those wanting the change is that that City Hall is unlikely to ban the sale but instead make an amendment to the current by-laws. A ban has taken place in Richmond, British Columbia with little economic impact on the retail chains. Following the lead of several United States cities Richmond city council passed an amendment to ban the sale of dogs at pet stores last fall. The Vancouver suburb became the first Canadian city to ban these type of animal sales. Not everyone was happy with the ban. Pet store owner Ernest Ang who owns a Pet Paradise said he would fight saying the animals he sold were not from puppy mills. "I wish they would come to my store and understand what we're doing instead of accusing us of something we don't actually do," Ang said. "Stopping two or three stores from selling dogs isn't going to solve the problem." Animal welfare officials however were happy with the ban if took effect in early May. "It's truly a pivotal decision," Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the B.C. SPCA, said. "This is truly the way of the future."
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