Friday, December 16, 2011

Major Reform Coming To Montreal Animal Welfare!

MONTREAL - The city of Montreal is to announce on Thursday its plan for improved animal control in the city, The Gazette has learned. The plan could lead to big changes in pet ownership in Montreal.

The issues include how to better handle the estimated 50,000 animals abandoned yearly in the Montreal area, whether to make the contracts Montreal’s 19 boroughs and its 15 adjacent cities have with for-profit pounds more stringent and whether to make pet licences and the sterilization of pets mandatory.

A source told The Gazette the city wants a system at the agglomeration level – for the entire island of Montreal – with an incentive-based pet-licensing system and public access to “high-volume, low-cost” pet sterilizations. People would pay less for licences and implanted ID microchips if the pets are sterilized and more if they are not. The city also wants stiffer animal nuisance bylaws for dogs barking and for picking up animal feces.

Most of all, the city wants to be seen to be “out of the convenience killing business.”

Montreal City Hall came under fire last spring after a Radio-Canada exposé that appeared to depict animals at the for-profit Berger Blanc pound being inhumanely euthanized. Many boroughs and cities still have contracts with Berger Blanc.

The city wants a system that is more of a partnership between city-run animal control services and non-profit animal welfare groups, like what is done in Calgary, the source added.