Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ban Ottawa pet store sales of dogs, cats, rabbits: group

An animal advocacy group believes it has City Hall by the tail.

The Puppymill Awareness Working Solutions group wants the city to ban pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits, and says the intense scrutiny placed on council candidates during the 2014 municipal election helped its cause.

Veteran councillors in Ottawa should be familiar with the issue. In 2011, the Ottawa Humane Society called on council to follow Toronto’s lead and write a bylaw banning pet stores from selling dogs and cats that aren’t from shelters.

The city already has regulations governing pet shops.

Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans, chair of the community and protective services committee, said councillors will receive recommendations on changes to the pet shop bylaw on March 21, following public consultations in February.

Mr Andrews said in one area where feral cats have been culled, the pigmy possum juvenile population and the number of bandicoots have already increased.

Dogs were being trained and used to sniff out wild cats, he said.

The Turnbull government has committed to saving 40 endangered mammals and birds, in addition to 30 types of invaluable native flora.

The eastern barred bandicoot, the mahogany glider, the western ringtail possum, black-footed rock wallaby, the cassowary and the swift parrot are just some of the animals under fierce protection.

Mr Hunt was confident the target of two million cats culled in just four years could be reached.