Langley Advance view: Will B.C. animal welfare laws really get tougher?

The province is accepting public input into suggested legal changes regarding animal welfare.

When was the last time you had to coax your toaster oven out from under the bed during a thunderstorm?

Have you ever tried to curl up on the couch with an ATV?

Under the law, family pets are considered chattel or property, the same as any inanimate object.

The laws have not kept up with changes in society, particularly when it comes to those who mistreat pets. People consider their pets part of the family.

Now the province of B.C. has asked for public input in proposed changes to animal cruelty legislation.

People have until May 20 to go online and take a survey through the Government of B.C. website. The province would incorporate into law the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Codes of Practice.

The two recent animal seizures, one in Langley’s Glen Valley and the other at 194th Street on the Surrey/Langley border, highlight the issues around animal welfare.

These operations exist because people buy the animals they breed, and unfortunately people tend to fall for fads, which is not good for pets.

Every individual who brings a pet into their lives takes on responsibilities of knowing proper feeding and care, and of obtaining vet care when appropriate. But before any of that, they need to care about where that animal came from, particularly since there are no-kill animal shelters all over the province filled with pets needing homes.

Those who choose to breed or board animals take on even more responsibility.

Will tougher laws in B.C. stop puppy mills and ensure safe, loving homes for all pets? No, but any laws have to have teeth.

– H.C.

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