A call for action on horse and large animal neglect

For Immediate Release:
November 26, 2010

Simcoe – MPP Toby Barrett has risen in the Legislature several times now to read in petitions “Haldimand-Norfolk Needs an OSPCA Chapter” on behalf of local residents seeking an end to horse and large animal abuse.

“Whereas the establishment of a local Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) could help deal with the brutality and neglect of horses and other large animals; and whereas the Ontario government could provide training for the Ontario Provincial Police to deal with animal abuse issues, ” Barrett read as he tabled the petitions, “We, the undersigned, hereby petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario that the Ontario government request the establishment of an OSPCA chapter in Haldimand-Norfolk to provide the two counties with support in cases of animal abuse and neglect.”

The petitions were initiated by Hagersville’s Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue – a three year old operation that reportedly has rescued over 100 horses. Founder Brenda McAthur has noted in the media that presently she gets, “cruelty complaints with no one to call but the OPP.”

Currently, the Simcoe and District Humane Society has no affiliate status with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals while Haldimand County has been contracting its animal cruelty services toe the Welland and District SPCA.

Barrett read in the petitions November 2nd, November 17th, November 23rd.

Recently, fellow Opposition members have been reading in petitions calling for, “clearly defined and effective provincial oversight of all animal shelter services in the province.”

The petitions reflect MPP Klees private members resolution, debated November 18th at Queens Park in which the Newmarket–Aurora representative indicated: “the Ontario Legislature should call on the government of Ontario to review the powers and authority granted to the OSPCA under the OSPCA Act and to make the necessary legislative changes to bring those powers under the authority of the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services to ensure that there is a clearly defined and effective provincial oversight of all animal shelter services in the province, and to separate the inspection and enforcement powers of the OSPCA from its functions as a charity providing animal shelter services.”

The motion received Opposition support – as well as support from Government members Pat Hoy and Jim Brownell – but was defeated by a government majority 24-17.

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629