New agency to handle Sask. animal welfare enforcement

Saskatchewan’s animal protection officers will start Wednesday with a new not-for-profit agency handling animal welfare enforcement work in the province.

The provincial agriculture department on Thursday announced a two-year, $610,000-per-year agreement to fund investigative services provided by Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan, effective April 1.

A new toll-free phone number, 1-844-382-0002, will be in place starting Wednesday for reporting cases of animal abuse, the province said. Inquires can also be directed to the new agency’s website and general email address.

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The move to the new agency follows the Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (SPCA) decision not to renew its animal protection services contract, which expires Tuesday.

Animal protection services manager Kaley Pugh and other animal protection officers (APOs) who previously worked for the SPCA will work for the new Saskatoon-based agency, the province said.

The new agency, whose board members will include representatives from provincial veterinary and livestock organizations, will be “working closely with Saskatchewan SPCA to ensure a smooth transition of enforcement services,” Pugh said in the province’s release.

The SPCA’s move follows its decision, announced in January, to focus its work on programs and services related to education and the prevention of animal cruelty.

Until now, the SPCA’s APOs have investigated and resolved cases involving cruelty to animals, operating mainly in areas not served by local-level SPCAs or humane societies.

The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association “welcome(s) the new organization and the role it will play in supporting good animal husbandry practices, which are of utmost importance to our industry,” SCA chairman Bill Jameson said in the same release. — AGCanada.com Network

 

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