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Wild Animal Law of Canada


Animal Health and Protection Act (PEI)

(current to 15 June 2016)
Note Re Application of the Animal Health Protection Act ('AHPA')

PEI's Animal Health and Protection Act (AHPA), as well as the Animal Protection Regulations ('AP Regs') and the Premises Identification Regulations ('PI Regs') passed thereunder, are overwhelmingly applicable only to domestic animals, including some normally wild species in farming situations (which are considered domestics in this Guide). Wild species, even foreign wild species, are primarily addressed in PEI's Wildlife Conservation Act [see that module].

That said, the AHPA's health [see s.1 of this module] and protection [see s.2 of this module] provisions do apply to the following species which can be kept in either wild or domestic forms (but even when wild, as a practical matter in PEI they would all be kept in captivity) [AHPA 1(d), PI Regs 1(2,3) and Sched 1]:
  • fox,
  • mink,
  • alpacas;
  • bison;
  • deer;
  • elk;
  • llamas;
  • vicunas.
Additionally, when any of these animals are kept in any of the next-listed premises, their owners are subject to additional information-keeping duties required for purposes of the province's 'traceability system' [see s.3 of this module] [PI Regs 2 and Sched 2]:
  • Abattoirs
  • Assembly yards
  • Auction or sale facilities
  • Competition facilities
  • Exhibition or fair grounds
  • Farms, including hobby farms or small acreage farms
  • Feedlots
  • Insemination facilities
  • Pastures, including community pasture lands
  • Rendering plants
  • Research facilities
  • Stables
  • Veterinary clinics, hospitals or laboratories
  • Zoos, including petting zoos
This law bears on the following wildlife issues:
The full current text of this legislation (including regulations) may be viewed at the Prince Edward Island statute website.


Table of Contents
1. Health
2. Protection
(a) General Protective Provisions
(b) Specific Protective Provisions
(c) Enforcement
(d) Euthanasia
3. Provincial Traceability System

1. Health

The purposes of the health portion of the AHPA are to prevent and limit the effects of both animal and zoonotic (transmissible from animals to humans) diseases, and generally to promote animal health [AHPA 3].

To this end the AHPA creates a duty on animal owners and custodians to report potential infections to the Minister or the provincial veterinarian [AHPA 3.11]. The Minister also appoints inspectors with typical regulatory enforcement powers such as entry, inspection and the making of written compliance Orders [AHPA 3.2]. The provincial veterinarian may declare quarantine areas [AHPA 3.3].

2. Protection

(a) General Protective Provisions

An animal is deemed "in a state of distress" if it [AHPA 8(1)]:
  • is in need of food, water, care or treatment;
  • is sick, in pain or suffering or has been injured; or
  • is abused or subjected to cruelty or neglect.
However, as a de facto exemption from the prohibition against causing or permitting animals to be a state of distress [AHPA 8.1(2)], the definition excludes "any deprivation, pain, suffering, injury, abuse, neglect or other distress the animal experiences" resulting from "an activity that is carried on in a manner consistent with generally accepted practices of animal management, husbandry or slaughter" [AHPA 8(2)]. As well, where " the owner, on becoming aware of the distress, immediately takes reasonable steps to relieve the distress of the animal", then the prohibition is not violated [AHPA 8.1(3)].

In addition to the above-discussed 'distress prohibition' there is also a general prohibition (much like the main Criminal Code cruelty provision) that "(n)o person shall cause an animal unnecessary pain, suffering or injury" [AHPA 8.1(1)].

(b) Specific Protective Provisions

Consistent with the AHPA's piecemeal coverage of wild animals, the following additional protective provisions apply:
  • Foxes

    "(S)tandards of design, construction and maintenance of facilities and the standards of care" for foxes "kept for sale, hire or exhibition" are those contained in Agriculture Canada's "Recommended Code of Practice for Care and Handling of Ranched Fox" [AP Regs 4(1)];

  • Mink

    "(S)tandards of design, construction and maintenance of facilities and the standards of care" for mink "kept for sale, hire or exhibition" are those contained in Agriculture Canada's "Recommended Code of Practice for Care and Handling of Mink" [AP Regs 4(1)];

  • Transportation

    Standards of care for the humane treatment of animals during transportation are those contained in "Part XII, Transportation of Animals, of the Regulations under the Animal Disease and Protection Act (Canada)" [see the federal ADPA module] [AP Regs 4(2)].

  • Research

    Standards of care for animals used in medical or scientific research are those in the "Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals, Volumes I and II, published by the Canadian Council on Animal Care, 1984" [AP Regs 5].
(c) Enforcement

As with the health provisions, these protective provisions are enforced by appointed inspectors with typical regulatory enforcement powers such as entry, inspection and the making of written compliance Orders [AHPA 9,11,12]. Additionally, an inspector may remove an animal "the purpose of providing it with food, water, care or treatment of its distress", where either [AHPA 14(1)]:
  • a veterinarian, on examining the animal, has verified that such removal is necessary for "the health and well-being of the animal";

  • an inspector, on examining the animal, "has reasonable grounds for believing that the animal is in distress" and the owner cannot be found; or

  • the owner has failed to abide by an inspector's compliance Order.
There is also a general offence provision for any violation of the Act and it's Regulations [AHPA 19].

(d) Euthanasia

An inspector may destroy an animal either with the consent of the owner, or where a veterinarian has examined the animal and verified that it "is ill or injured and, in his opinion, is incapable of being so cured or healed as to live thereafter without suffering" or, where a veterinarian is not available". Where the owner cannot be found, or a veterinarian is not available (respectively), the inspector may euthanize the animal if "the animal's injury or illness is of such seriousness as to cause severe distress" [AHPA 14(2)].

3. Provincial Traceability System

The province has established a 'traceability system' for the purpose of identifying some animals held in some facilities and premises [as noted in the Application Note above] and tracing the animal's movements [AHPA 3.4]. Tagging of animals may be required for these purposes [AHPA 3.5].

To facilitate the operating of this system, animal owners are subject to a registration requirement. In particular, they must register with the Registrar of that system [PI Regs 3(1)], providing a range of information including "the class of the animals ... kept or disposed of on the premises" and "the maximum capacity for each class of animal kept or disposed of on the premises".

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