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Wild Animal Law of Canada


Health Promotion and Protection Act (Ontario)

(current to 15 September 2016)

Note Re Application of the Health Promotion and Protection Act ('HPPA')

The Health Protection and Promotion Act ('HPPA') is Ontario's primary human public health statute (cp. the Animal Health Act module). It's primary involvements with animals are as they may act as vectors of diseases to humans (particularly rabies). Practically, most of this involvement is with livestock and dogs, though it could conceivably have application to wildlife in captivity, native or domestic (eg. as pets, zoos, circuses, etc).

This law bears on the wildlife issues of:
The full current text of the Health Promotion and Protection Act ('HPPA') and it's Regulations may be viewed at the Ontario statute website.

The Health Promotion and Protection Act ('HPPA') has as it's purpose the "the organization and delivery of public health programs and services, the prevention of the spread of disease and the promotion and protection of the health of the people of Ontario" [HPPA 2]. It is the specific duty of Boards of Health, in part, to "superintend, provide or ensure the provision of health programs and services" with respect to "(c)ommunity sanitation, to ensure the maintenance of sanitary conditions and the prevention or elimination of health hazards" [HPPA 5].

For these purposes, a 'health hazard' includes "a substance, thing, plant or animal other than man ... that has or that is likely to have an adverse effect on the health of any person" [HPPA 1(1)]. The term 'animal' is no expressly defined in the HPPA and so can refer to both domestic and wild animals.

Enforcement and related procedures mandated under the HPPA for the above purposes include:
  • where a medical officer of health or a public health inspector is of the opinion that a health hazard exists, they may Order "a person [SS: including an owner or custodian of animals] to take or to refrain from taking any action that is specified in the order in respect of a health hazard" [HPPA 13(1,2,5)];

  • where a medical officer of health or a public health inspector is of the opinion that a "condition of any substance, thing, plant or animal other than man is a health hazard may seize or cause the seizure of the substance, thing, plant or animal" for purposes of examination or investigation to determine the existence of a health hazard, and where a health hazard is present, the animal may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of [HPPA 19].
Specific reporting duties are set out in the Communicable Diseases - General Regulation ('CDG Regs') respecting:
  • rabies (ss.2-3);

    Note that mandatory rabies vaccination applies only to domestic animals: Rabies Immunization Regulation.

  • psittacosis (for poultry and other birds) (ss.4).
There are also prohibitions, with exceptions, for live animals and birds being present in premises "where food is manufactured, prepared, processed, handled, served, displayed, stored, sold or offered for sale" [Food Premises Regulation ('FP Regs') 59(e)]. The exceptions relate to service dogs for the blind, and "live birds or animals offered for sale on food premises ... or live aquatic species displayed or stored in sanitary tanks on food premises" [FP Regs 60].

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