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Animal Protection Line

About Us

Position Statements

Our position statements are based on the concepts set out in the guiding principles. In all instances, the position of the Alberta SPCA focuses on responsible animal ownership, the quality of life and a humane death afforded to animals by humans.

Individuals are encouraged to be knowledgeable about animals and human/animal relationships in order to make informed decisions about personal lifestyle choices.

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the keeping of companion animals by responsible owners who provide a standard of care that ensures the welfare and well-being of their animals throughout all stages of life, including death. The Alberta SPCA expects persons or organizations accepting duty for the care or keeping of companion animals be responsible and provide a standard of care that ensures the welfare and well-being of these animals throughout all stages of life, including death. The responsibility of care extends to household pets, sheltered or fostered animals, companion animals enrolled in any form of trap-neuter-return program, and any other housing situation.

Rationale

The Alberta SPCA believes keeping companion animals can benefit both animals and humans.

The Alberta SPCA believes responsible animal stewardship, including surgical sterilization and compliance with animal control by-laws, benefits both animals and the community.

The Alberta SPCA supports elimination of cosmetic procedures for companion animals.

The Alberta SPCA, as one of its core beliefs, believes all animals should have their basic needs met, as outlined in the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare* developed in 1979 by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council.

The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare can be found in the Alberta SPCA Core Beliefs document.

*Date Revised: September 28, 2019

 

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the possession and keeping of wildlife and controlled animals, (as defined under the Wildlife Act of Alberta) is appropriate for the purposes of medical treatment and rehabilitation, education, research and conservation. 

Rationale

The Wildlife Act of Alberta states: “55(1) a person shall not be in possession of wildlife or controlled animals.” The legislation further defines exceptions to this condition and defines conditions, licensure and permit requirements for such exceptions.

The Alberta SPCA believes wildlife and controlled animals, as defined by the Wildlife Act, must only be in the possession of people or organizations who have the necessary permits and/or licences and who possess the knowledge, training, resources and skill required to ensure the proper welfare and well-being of the animals.

The Alberta SPCA, as one of its core beliefs, believes all animals should have their basic needs met, as outlined in the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare** developed in 1979 by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council.

The Alberta SPCA believes humans must recognize that merely resolving negative physical or mental states does not necessarily result in positive welfare. To help ensure animals have a “life worth living” they must have the opportunity to have positive experiences. Further, to have good welfare, both the physical and emotional states must be considered as in the Five Domains of Animal Welfare developed in 1994 by Professors Dr. David Mellor and Dr. Cam Reid, Massey University.

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the use of animals for entertainment and exhibition only where there is a standard of care and housing appropriate to the species that ensures the welfare and well-being of the animals, and protects them from activities, including training, that cause distress or otherwise pose a significant risk to their safety.  Further, the Alberta SPCA supports the development of effective legislation and Codes of Practice pertaining to animals used in entertainment and exhibition.

Rationale

The Alberta SPCA recognizes that animals will be used for entertainment, kept and displayed, and that they may be exhibited competitively.

The Alberta SPCA believes that animals should not be subjected to procedures or medications that force them to perform, behave or compete in a way that is not natural to their species.

The Alberta SPCA believes the welfare and well-being of animals must take precedence over financial considerations or personal gain in humans’ stewardship of those animals.

The Alberta SPCA believes all rules and regulations for the humane treatment of animals should be strictly and consistently enforced by organizations sponsoring the competitive exhibition of animals.

The Alberta SPCA believes legislation should be in place, and strictly enforced to require that animals kept for entertainment and exhibition be provided with a standard of care and housing that ensures their welfare and well-being, and is appropriate to the species.

The Alberta SPCA, as one of its core beliefs, believes all animals should have their basic needs met, as outlined in the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare** developed in 1979 by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council.

The Alberta SPCA believes humans must recognize that merely resolving negative physical or mental states does not necessarily result in positive welfare. To help ensure animals have a “life worth living” they must have the opportunity to have positive experiences. Further, to have good welfare, both the physical and emotional states must be considered as in the Five Domains of Animal Welfare developed in 1994 by Professors Dr. David Mellor and Dr. Cam Reid, Massey University.  The Five Domains of Animal Welfare can be found in the Alberta SPCA Core Beliefs document.

Date Amended and Approved: January 30, 2021

Position

The Alberta SPCA believes all animals deserve “a life worth living and a good death”. The Alberta SPCA recognizes that humane euthanasia by approved methods may be necessary in certain situations as a means of removing an animal from distress, and relieving suffering.

Definition

Euthanasia is the act of inducing a humane death in an animal.

Rationale

The Alberta SPCA condones only those methods of euthanasia that:

  • are performed in a compassionate and respectful manner,
  • are performed by trained and qualified individuals,
  • are appropriate to the species, age, and health status of the animal,
  • result in rapid loss of consciousness, followed by respiratory and cardiac arrest and ultimately all loss of brain function of the animal,
  • minimize any pain and distress by the animal prior to the loss of consciousness,
  • use methods of restraint, where appropriate, should be suitable for the species, size, age and health status of the animal,
  • verify death immediately following the procedure.

Reaching the Decision to Euthanize an Animal:

Euthanasia should be considered as an option in situations of:

  • debilitating disease, injury or infirmity with a poor prognosis for an ongoing life worth living,
  • behaviour problems that limit quality of life and/ or puts humans or other animals at risk,
  • overpopulation that may lead to intolerable and irreversible welfare situations that lead to the suffering or distress of animals,
  • to control outbreaks of disease that threaten the safety and welfare of animal or human populations.

Date Reviewed and Amended: October 3, 2020

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the sustainable keeping of livestock for food and fibre production and other uses where there is a standard of care in place that ensures the welfare and well-being of the animals through all stages of their life, including death.

Rationale

The Alberta SPCA recognizes humans’ traditional dependence on livestock as a source of food and other products and that the livestock industry provides income and employment for many people.

The Alberta SPCA believes the welfare and well-being of animals must take precedence over financial considerations in humans’ stewardship of those animals.

The Alberta SPCA believes the conduct set out in the most current Recommended Codes of Practice are the minimum levels of acceptable care and handling of all livestock.*

The Alberta SPCA, as one of its Core Beliefs, believes all animals should have their basic needs met, as outlined in the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare** developed in 1979 by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council.

The Alberta SPCA believes humans must recognize that merely resolving negative physical or mental states does not necessarily result in positive welfare. To help ensure animals have a “life worth living” they must have the opportunity to have positive experiences. Further, to have good welfare, both the physical and emotional states must be considered as in the Five Domains of Animal Welfare developed in 1994 by Professors Dr. David Mellor and Dr. Cam Reid, Massey University. 

* The Recommended Codes of Practice can be found on the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) website (http://www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice,

Date Amended and Approved: January 30, 2021

Position

The Alberta SPCA recognizes that all animals have intrinsic value. In some instances, individual animals or populations of animals may be identified as “pests” and need to be controlled to prevent or reduce property damage, prevent and control disease in humans or animals, promote sustainable agriculture practices and ensure biodiversity and ecosystem balance. 

The Alberta SPCA supports the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

Definition

IPM is a decision making process for preventing pest problems and for determining what actions to take when pest problems occur. In IPM programs, all available information and treatment methods are considered in order to manage pest populations effectively. The response depends on the importance of the damage done, and will range from tolerance, through deterrence and management, to attempts to completely eradicate the pest.

Rationale

An Integrated Pest Management system should implement all available non-lethal options before instigating lethal control measures. This includes:

  • Defining the risk presented by the pest to the actual damage being done,
  • Investigate and undertake preventative measures to stop the establishment of a pest population in the first place,
  • Evaluate the position of the pest species in the ecosystem and the positive and negative outcomes of altering its population numbers,
  • Establish a threshold population level below which control measures are not necessary,
  • Evaluate and refine pest control methods.

Non-lethal control practices should be the initial method of choice and may include:

  • Public education
  • Habitat modification
  • Reduction of access using fences, screens, covers, etc.
  • The use of natural guard animals or other deterrents
  • Appropriate planning regarding the construction and location of residential or commercial developments
  • Population control through reproductive cycle interference
  • Population reduction by humane capture and appropriate relocation

If the decision is made to use lethal methods of control, the method must:

  • provide the animal with a death that is quick, and causes the least amount of pain and distress.
  • not negatively impact the environment and /or non-target species• be completed while strictly adhering to all federal, provincial and municipal legislation that may impact the method of control.

The Alberta SPCA supports continued research to identify effective and humane methods of managing animals creating nuisance or conflict while maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem.

Date reviewed and amended: October 3, 2020

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the use of animals for recreation only where there is a standard of care that ensures the welfare and well-being of animals, and protects them from activities, including training, that cause distress or pose a significant risk to their safety. 

Further, the Alberta SPCA supports the development and implementation of effective legislation and Codes of Practice, where appropriate, pertaining to animals used in recreation. 

Rationale

The Alberta SPCA believes the responsible use of animals for recreation can provide beneficial experiences for both animals and humans.

The Alberta SPCA, as one of its core beliefs, believes all animals should have their basic needs met, as outlined in the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare* developed in 1979 by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council.  The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare can be found in the Alberta SPCA Core Beliefs document.

 The Alberta SPCA believes humans must recognize that merely resolving negative physical or mental states does not necessarily result in positive welfare. To help ensure animals have a “life worth living” they must have the opportunity to have positive experiences. Further, to have good welfare, both the physical and emotional states must be considered as in the Five Domains of Animal Welfare developed in 1994 by Professors Dr. David Mellor and Dr. Cam Reid, Massey University.   

Date Amended and Approved: January 30, 2021

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the use of animals for research, teaching and testing only if and when the procedures used, and the standard of care provided do not jeopardize the welfare and well-being of the animals.

Rationale

The Alberta SPCA recognizes that animals will be used for research, teaching and testing for the benefit of both people and animals.

The Alberta SPCA believes all research, teaching, and testing should be done in compliance with the most current standards of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), including rigorous review of all animal use protocols. *

The Alberta SPCA strongly believes alternative methods that reduce, refine and replace the use of animals with non-animal methods should be developed, validated and used.

The Alberta SPCA, as one of its core beliefs, believes all animals should have their basic needs met, as outlined in the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare** developed in 1979 by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council.

The Alberta SPCA believes humans must recognize that merely resolving negative physical or mental states does not necessarily result in positive welfare. To help ensure animals have a “life worth living” they must have the opportunity to have positive experiences. Further, to have good welfare, both the physical and emotional states must be considered as in the Five Domains of Animal Welfare developed in 1994 by Professors Dr. David Mellor and Dr. Cam Reid, Massey University. 

The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, as well as the Five Domains, can be found in the Alberta SPCA Core Beliefs document.

* The most current standards can be found on the Canadian Council on Animal Care website, https://ccac.ca/en/standards (as of the Date Approved listed below).

Date Amended and Approved: January 30, 2021

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the transportation of animals in a safe and humane manner that is appropriate to their species.

Rationale

Individuals and organizations that transport livestock must comply with the most current codes of practice as well as provincial and federal regulations. However, the Alberta SPCA supports improvements based on research to ensure the welfare of transported animals.

Sound, species-specific transportation practices should ensure

  • the fitness of the animal for transport
  • safe handling, loading and unloading practices
  • adequate ventilation, temperature control, food, water and rest
  • safety and security from injury
  • well-maintained equipment
  • sufficient space
  • where appropriate, the use of enclosures, restraints or other tethering devices
  • that animals of different species or of substantial differences in weight or age are not transported in the same space
  • the segregation of animals that are incompatible by nature

The Alberta SPCA advocates for special training and certification for professional drivers and handlers of animals being loaded or unloaded for transport.

The Alberta SPCA strongly discourages the transportation of companion animals in open vehicles.

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The vision of the Alberta SPCA is that every animal in Alberta be treated humanely.

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