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.

Companion Animals

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.

Rationale

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

Alberta SPCA believes responsible animal ownership, including surgical sterilization and compliance with animal control bylaws, benefits both animals and the community.

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.

Controlled Animals

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the keeping of controlled animals under the Wildlife Act only for the purposes of education and conservation.

Rationale

The Alberta SPCA recognizes that Alberta’s Wildlife Act permits the keeping of controlled animals as companion animals or for commercial trade.

The Alberta SPCA believes controlled animals should only be owned by people who have the necessary permits and licenses. These people must demonstrate that they possess the knowledge and training 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 Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare can be found in the Alberta SPCA Core Beliefs document.

Animals Used for Entertainment & Exhibition

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.

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 consideration 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 strictly enforced to require that animals kept in captive situations 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 Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare can be found in the Alberta SPCA Core Beliefs document.

Euthanasia

Position

The Alberta SPCA recognizes that euthanasia is appropriate in situations of humane necessity.

Definition

Euthanasia is the act of inducing a humane death in an animal with a minimum of fear, pain and distress.

Rationale

The Alberta SPCA condones only those methods of euthanasia that

  • are performed in a compassionate manner by qualified individuals
  • are appropriate to the species and condition of the animal
  • induce immediate and unequivocal loss of sensibility
  • cause the least possible pain, distress or suffering
  • use methods of restraint where appropriate and when immediate death follows

Humane necessity includes

  • debilitating disease, injury or infirmity
  • behaviour problems that limit quality of life or put humans or other animals at risk
  • overpopulation that may lead to suffering or distress to animals

Euthanasia may also be necessary to control outbreaks of disease that threaten the safety and welfare of animal or human populations.

Livestock

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the keeping of livestock for consumption and other useswhere there is a standard of care 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 standards set out in the most current Codes of Practice available from the National Farm Animal Care Council 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 Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare can be found in the Alberta SPCA Core Beliefs document.

Control of Animals Creating Nuisance or Conflict

Position

The Alberta SPCA recognizes that all animals have intrinsic value but may need to be controlled to prevent or reduce property damage, control disease, promote sustainable agriculture practices or ensure biodiversity and ecological balance. The Alberta SPCA supports the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).*

Rationale

An IPM system should be undertaken before instigating control measures. IPM includes

  • investigating and undertaking preventative measures to stop the establishment of a pest population
  • evaluating the position of the pest species in the ecosystem and the positive and negative outcomes of altering its population numbers
  • establishing a threshold population level below which control measures are not necessary
  • evaluating and refining pest control methods

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

  • habitat modification
  • the reduction of access using fences, screens, covers, etc.
  • the use of natural guard animals
  • appropriate planning regarding the construction and location of residential of commercial developments
  • population control through reproductive cycle interference

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

  • The animal’s death must be quick and cause the least amount of pain and distress. Methods causing long-term suffering, such as sticky traps and certain chemical poisons, are to be avoided.
  • The effect of the method on the environment and non-target species must be considered.
  • There must be strict adherence to federal, provincial and municipal laws regarding the use of pest control methods.

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


* More information about Integrated Pest Management is available on the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association website

Animals Used for Recreation

Position

The Alberta SPCA accepts the use of animals for recreation 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.

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.

Animals Used for Research, Teaching & Testing

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 does 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, post-secondary teaching and testing should be done in compliance with the most current guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care, 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 Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare can be found in the Alberta SPCA Core Beliefs document.

Transportation of Live Animals

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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