Protecting the rights of responsible specialty pet owners in Winnipeg
On August 10th, 2021 Winnipeg’s Animal Services Agency, with support from animal right groups Zoocheck Inc. and World Animal Protection, proposed new specialty pet ownership by-laws. This proposal had minimal or no input from the pet industry or specialty pet stakeholders. This proposed by-law had some very strong animal welfare concerns addressed that we all agree need to be considered when looking at issues such as Breed Specific Legislation, Tethering of Dogs, Canine Breeding Accountability to list a few. The proposed by-law though was strongly against Specialty Pets to the level that it would displace thousands of Specialty Pets, cause significant stress on Specialty Pets and significantly impact to a possible eradication of an entire industry of pet specialists in the City of Winnipeg.
This economical impact would include veterinarian practices, retail specialty stores, responsible specialty pet breeders, specialty pet product distributors, pet manufacturers Specialty pets include birds, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects.
If approved, these proposed by-laws would be the most restrictive in Canada, banning almost all commonly kept pets other than cats and dogs.
Here is the link to the proposed by-law https://engage.winnipeg.ca/24540/widgets/98826/documents/63327
Folks at Winnipeg Animal Services Agency with the direction from animal rights groups don’t believe that anyone should have the right to own or breed specialty pets in Winnipeg, they are lobbying to end ownership of many specialty pet companion animals such as hamsters, lizards, and birds in Canada not just Winnipeg. Regardless if they are responsibly Captive Bred in Canada or from outside of Canada.
We need your help pushing back against this agenda, to ensure that families in Winnipeg and across Canada can have the opportunity to share their homes with Specialty Pets such as pet birds, small animals, tropical fish and reptiles in the future.
Some examples of what is currently on the chopping block:
All parrots except for budgies and cockatiels (e.g., lovebirds, conures, caiques, ringnecks, quakers, amazons, cockatoos), most domestic finches, pigeons, doves, quail
Dwarf Hamsters, domestic rats, chinchillas
All species other than cornsnakes, milksnakes, kingsnakes, leopard geckos, crested geckos, gargoyle gecko, crested geckos, bearded dragons
All species will be banned
All fish that could grow to or larger than 10” at maturity (excluding goldfish and koi), wild caught freshwater fish, wild caught saltwater fish, fish species that are known to be wide-ranging Example Cardinal Tetras. All venomous species of fish this would include all species of catfish including Corydoras catfish for example.
All insects except for feeder species (e.g., mealworms, crickets)
Winnipeg Animal Services is under the false impression that our pets are sourced illegally from the wild and can’t be cared for. In Winnipeg and across Canada, almost all specialty pets are captively bred and raised with people from an early age. They are not “wild” animals living in constant fear and distress as Zoocheck and World Animal Protection would have the public believe. The import and export of these species is closely regulated in Canada through federal laws and treaties. Research shows that pet ownership in Canada does not negatively impact wild animal populations. In fact, captive breeding for the pet trade is widely supported by conservationists as a means of ending illegal black markets in wild-caught animals around the globe.
For organizations that claim to care about animal welfare, none of their proposed by-laws for specialty pets address issues of neglect, animal abuse, and the need for public education. The City of Winnipeg is posed to become a non pet or non specialty pet municipality.