Animal Protection Laws

Animal protection is offered under both provincial and federal legislation. The two main laws protecting animals against abuse and neglect are Alberta’s Animal Protection Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

The Animal Protection Act protects animals from distress due to neglect or abuse by their owner or caretaker. Peace officers from the Alberta SPCA, the Calgary Humane Society and the Edmonton Humane Society are appointed by the Solicitor General of Alberta and the Minister of Public Security to enforce the Animal Protection Act. Penalties can include restrictions on owning animals and fines of up to $20,000.

The Criminal Code of Canada applies to wilful acts of cruelty or neglect, either by an animal’s owner or by someone else. Cases covered by the Criminal Code are usually investigated by community police or the RCMP, often in consultation with the appropriate SPCA or humane society. Maximum penalties vary depending on the type of conviction under the Criminal Code.