CORNER BROOK Oppposition Leader Eddie Joyce is calling on government to reinstate the $50,000 grant committed to the SPCA in May 2012.
According to a press release issued Friday morning, the grant was for development of a public awareness campaign on the new Animal Health & Protection Act. The MHA for Bay of Islands says he was recently told by the Department of Natural Resources that the money is no longer available.
‚ÄúWhen we debated this Act in the House of Assembly last spring,‚ÄĚ stated Joyce, ‚ÄúI voted in its favor with this funding commitment in mind. While proclaiming the Act was just the first step, government has completely walked away from enforcing it.‚ÄĚ
Thursday, in the House of Assembly, Joyce asked Minister Derrick Dalley about the lack of enforcement and if the funding would be reinstated. Joyce said the question was met with laughter and mockery from the government benches.
The new regulations state that dogs which are kept outside for extended periods of time must be housed in insulated, elevated, weatherproof dog houses on a tether five times the length of the dog, according to Joyce.
‚ÄúSadly, there is no recourse for concerned citizens who see these dogs endure the winter tied to a wooden box day and night,‚ÄĚ stated Joyce. ‚ÄúWhat a shameful abandonment on the part of this government.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúNo animal organizations are trained to enforce the Animal Health & Protection Act. We‚Äôve been told that police are not fully aware of the regulations or their role in enforcing them. With roughly five per cent of municipalities trained, and participation not mandatory, it‚Äôs evident that government has failed miserably to protect the health and welfare of pets.‚ÄĚ