Since coming into effect on January 1st, 2020, the new Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act took charge of dispatching specialized inspectors for equine and other livestock’s welfare enforcement in Ontario, as well as zoos and aquariums. Ontario is the first province to introduce this provincially-operated enforcement system that also includes local inspectors for companion animals.

The PAWS Act goal is to address concerns about the previous system’s lack of oversight while it provides a more seamless province-wide system that provides the best outcomes for horses and other animals. Inspectors are given enhanced powers to protect animals, which include conducting inspections to determine if standards of care are being met, or entering a premise without a warrant and even the removal of an animal if the situation warrants.

Ministry of the Solicitor General spokesperson Kristy Denette says PAWS is continuing to hire full-time inspectors as part of their plan to ultimately have 100 full-time inspectors across the province.

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