According to this article, Ontario has lagged behind other Canadian provinces in terms of animal cruelty legislation. Considering how bad Canada's animal welfare laws are in general, this is pretty awful.
But the province is finally taking steps to correct this sad state of affairs.
Ontario will introduce legislation to increase penalties for animal abusers and impose strict new rules on the province's 50 roadside zoos - assailed by activists as among the worst in the world.
The legislation, aimed at overhauling a 90-year-old law, is expected to set standards of care for small zoos and give the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals the right to inspect the operations, The Canadian Press has learned.
The bill, if passed, will also likely ensure there are tougher consequences for people who abuse animals by making it a provincial offence to hurt an animal, sources said.
Ontario's regulation of roadside zoos, when compared to other provinces, has been routinely criticized by animal rights activists.
Newfoundland and Labrador spells out how specific species should be housed and treated, and Alberta recently brought in tougher zoo regulations. In other provinces, the SPCA can go into zoos and inspect the animals.
I'm hopeful this legislation will pass, but my preference would be a complete ban on roadside zoos. I think they are all bad and there is no purpose to them other than for entertainment. There is no conservation or education purpose...it's just a business with the animals as assets. I have yet to hear of a "good" roadside zoo....but if any are out there, let me know.
Photo by Insomniac101.