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Didsbury council agrees to support animal welfare resolution

Commercial animals are raised for meat production and others products, while companion animals such as cats and dogs are raised for interaction with their owners

DIDSBURY – The Town of Didsbury will support a resolution being put before Alberta Municipalities calling for the province to review the Animal Protection Act, and in particular how it relates to companion animals such as dogs and cats.

The decision came by way of motion at the May 28 council meeting, held in person and online.

The City of Airdrie is proposing a resolution calling on Alberta Municipalities to advocate to the provincial government for a comprehensive review and update of the legislation.

Airdrie council has cited a number of reasons for the review, including that “the current version of the legislation does not differentiate between commercial and companion animals (and) societal attitudes and norms have changed, new challenges and risks have emerged, and best practices for animal protection may be enacted.”

As well, the Airdrie council says, “It is imperative to periodically reassess and update existing legislation to ensure it remains effective and aligned with current standards (and) the legislation has not been substantially updated since 2006.”

Commercial animals are raised for meat production and others products, while companion animals are raised for interaction with their owners, such as cats and dogs.

The resolution itself reads, in part: “Modernizing legislation and regulation around kennels and rescues is critical to ensuring the welfare and safety of animals in these facilities. 

“With the growing prevalence of companion animals and the increasing demand for adoption and boarding services, outdated regulations fail to address emerging challenges and protect vulnerable animals. 

“Clear and comprehensive regulations can establish standards for housing, care and hygiene, ensuring that companion animals are provided with adequate nutrition, medical attention, and living conditions.”

Updated regulations would also mandate regular inspections, licensing requirement, and transparency measures, “enabling authorities to monitor compliance and intervene properly in cases of neglect and abuse,” the resolution states.

Didsbury deputy mayor Curt Engel said, “I will also support the advocacy for the humane treatment of animals. The more we can do for these helpless animals I will always support.”

Council carried a motion to second the City of Airdrie resolution requesting a review by the province of the Animal Protection Act. The resolution will come before Alberta Municipalities' convention in Edmonton in September. 

Coun. Ethan Williams put forward the motion, saying he looks forward to the discussion at the convention.

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