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Simon Shields,
LLB

Barrister and Solicitor
(Retired)
LSUC #37308N


simonshields@isp.com

Legal Writing and Research


Wild Animal Law of Canada

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Health-Related Acts (Quebec)

(current to 01 November 2016)

Note Re Application of the Animal Health Protection Act ('AHPA') and the Public Health Act ('PHA')

Under the AHPA, 'animals' are defined "any domestic animal or animal kept in captivity" [AHPA 2(1)], so it has application to wild animals in captivity, both as farmed wildlife [AHPA 2(4)] and otherwise. Practically though the AHPA is overwhelmingly designed to address health concerns in domestic animals destined for human consumption - ie. 'livestock'. This module addresses provisions that could apply to wild animals in captivity, such as pets or in zoos. The only category of animals to which the AHPA does not apply are wild animals 'in a state of nature'.

The Public Health Act focusses on human health more directly, and while it has limited application to animals it sets out no operative definite of that term, so that conceivably it applies to all animals both wild and domestic no matter how situated.

These laws bear on the wildlife issues of:
  • PROTECTION
  • OWNERSHIP AND POSSESSION
  • SALE
  • FACILITIES
  • HUMAN HEALTH
  • IMPORT/EXPORT
  • TRANSPORTATION
  • EUTHANASIA
  • EXTERMINATION
The full current text of these statutes and their regulations may be viewed at the Quebec statute website.

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Table of Contents
1. Animal Health Protection Act
(a) Overview
(b) Duties of Owners and Custodians
(c) Importation
(d) Enforcement
2. Public Health Act
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1. Animal Health Protection Act

(a) Overview

As noted above regarding application of Quebec's Animal Health Protection Act, it's primary relevance is to domestic food animals, however it has residual application to wild animals in captivity it is that aspect of the Act that is addressed in this module. Interestingly, and while not relevant to this module, the AHPA has a 'Safety and Welfare of Cats and Dogs Regulation'.

Primary concerns of the AHPA are the elimination and control of infectious agents, contagious diseases and parasitic diseases as they occur in animals [AHPA 2].

(b) Duties of Owners and Custodians

The following are duties of owners and custodians of animals:
  • to "subject the animal or samples of its tissues, products, secretions, excreta or dejecta, or samples of its environment, to a screening test for a contagious or parasitic disease, an infectious agent or a syndrome" as required by AHPA authorities [AHPA 2.1];

  • to report "to a veterinary surgeon any fact indicating the existence of a contagious or parasitic disease, an infectious agent or a syndrome in the animal" [AHPA 3.1];

  • to comply with any veterinarian Order to comply with "any treatment or sanitary measure [a veterinarian] considers appropriate, including the segregation, marking and immunization of the animal", where the veterinarian "observes or suspects the existence of a contagious or parasitic disease, an infectious agent or a syndrome" in the subject animal [AHPA 3.2];

  • to comply with any veterinarian Order to "destroy or dispose of the contagious or infected animal", where the veterinarian "has reasonable cause to believe that there is a high risk of propagation of a contagious or parasitic disease, an infectious agent or a syndrome"; such slaughter shall be done under the supervision of a veterinarian or an AHPA inspector [AHPA 3.4];

  • to not "keep (an) animal for sale purposes, offer it for sale or deposit, or sell, exchange, donate, transport the animal or cause it to be transported" an animal "affected with a contagious or parasitic disease, an infectious agent or a syndrome" [AHPA 8];

  • to not "bring an animal or cause it to be brought into a place where the animal is likely to be in direct contact with the public" without "a certificate issued by a designated veterinary surgeon stating that the animal is free from any contagious or parasitic disease, infectious agent or syndrome." [AHPA 10.1].
(c) Importation

Animals being imported into Quebec must have "a certificate from the veterinary-in-chief or other competent officer of the province, or of the country of origin, of such animals or products attesting that the animals are free from a contagious or parasitic disease, an infectious agent or a syndrome" [AHPA 9].

(d) Enforcement

Inspectors, veterinarians, analysts and other may be appointed under the AHPA for enforcement purposes [AHPA 55.9.17], with typical entry, inspection, seizure and other authorities necessary to do their work [AHPA 55.10-55.19]. Where of the view that there is "an infirm animal or an animal affected with a contagious or parasitic disease, an infectious agent or a syndrome" in a facility then an inspector may "prohibit the sale of the animal and confiscate it to have it destroyed" [AHPPA 55.25].

Note that where live animals are seized under the authority of the Food Products Act ('FPA') (typically from a slaughterhouse), that AHPA provisions apply to it's treatment and disposition [FPA 33.1, 33.0.0.1, 33.0.1].

The AHPA also has a broad offence provisions that allows for prosecution of violations of the Act [AHPA 55.43-55.47].


2. Public Health Act

Like the AHPA (considered above), Quebec's Public Health Act ('PHA') is concerned with disease and parasite control, though here more as they directly impact human health - ie. "protection of the health of the population and the establishment of conditions favourable to the maintenance and enhancement of the health and well-being of the general population" [PHA 1]. However the PHA is broader in it's scope in addressing social factors and mental health, and such things as fluoridation and vaccination.

As the AHPA is extensive of it's coverage of animals and health concerns (all except wild animals in a 'state of nature'), few PHA provisions bear on animals as such. Those few that do are listed here:
  • in the course of an epidemiological investigation, a public health director may require that "require that every substance, plant, animal or other thing in a person’s possession be presented for examination" and "take or require a person to take samples of air or of any substance, plant, animal or other thing" [PHA 100(1)];

  • where, in the course of an investigation, a public health inspector "is of the opinion that there exists a real threat to the health of the population" they may "order the destruction of an animal, plant or other thing in the manner the director indicates, or order that certain animals or plants be treated" [PHA 106(4)].


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