Supporting The Responsible Specialty Pet Owners in Oshawa

The City of Oshawa Animal Care Advisory Committee is reviewing its Responsible Pet Ownership ByLaw. This amendment would impact responsible pet families in Oshawa.


Supporting The Responsible Specialty Pet Owners in Oshawa

The City of Oshawa Animal Care Advisory Committee is reviewing its Responsible Pet Ownership ByLaw. This amendment would impact responsible pet families in Oshawa.

Supporting The Responsible Specialty Pet Owners in Oshawa

On March 7th the City of Oshawa Animal Care Advisory Committee presented an ongoing review to the Corporate Services Committee that included significant changes that would impact the City of Oshawa’s specialty pets’ families.

In this presentation the Corporate Services Committee heard from World Animal Protection, ZooCheck and PIJAC. CANHERP and Oshawa Specialty Pets provided a submission however were not provided any time for presentation at this delegation.

On the table were two significant discussions – the move to prohibit Rabbits from being offered as companion pets unless sourced from Animal Services by stakeholders and or breeders – the shifting from a prohibited species list to a positive species list in the City of Oshawa.
The presentations had foundations that we all could find common ground on being the concern for animal welfare and considerations of today’s world of specialty pets in families.

The economic impact would include veterinarian practices, retail specialty stores, responsible specialty pet breeders, pet product distributors, pet manufacturers and others.

How To Help

Help us let the City of Oshawa know that the community of specialty pet families are responsible pet owners.

Fill out the form below and we will forward your submission to the City of Oshawa’s Animal Care Advisory Committee supporting the Oshawa Specialty Pets advocacy efforts.

Oshawa Proposed Amendments to Responsible Pet Owners By-law 14-2010

Submitted on Behalf of:
Specialty Pet Families of Oshawa
Pet Reptile Retail Specialists
of Oshawa

To Animal Services, Mayor, and council of the City of Oshawa,

CanHerp is an association of reptile and amphibian enthusiast’s, working together to preserve, foster, and grow the reptile and amphibian hobby in Canada by supporting Specialty Pet breeders, hobbyists, veterinarians, retailers, educator’s, and most importantly Pet families. Our stakeholders agree that responsible pet ownership, animal welfare, and public safety are top priorities when developing municipal by-laws.

In response to the Oshawa Animal Care Advisory Committee and Proposed Amendments to Responsible Pet Owners By-law 14-2010, CanHerp would like to thank you for allowing us the opportunity to provide feedback regarding the subject of Permitted vs Prohibitive lists.

Prohibitive lists are easier for Animal Services employees to use, as they are easier to understand, and clearly identify animals that are not generally considered acceptable pets. However, CanHerp does not believe that a Permitted List is a beneficial means of managing pets. Permitted lists are also difficult to maintain as they require animal services to be aware of each animal identified on the list as an acceptable pet.

Approximately 80% of all reptile and amphibian pets in Canada are captive-bred and born in Canada, or the USA. Imported pets that reside in Canada are from countries of origin that have been regulated by Environment Canada, CFIA and CITES (Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species). Furthermore, enthusiasts often self-police the rehoming of animals to ensure they’re sent to homes who are properly prepared to provide and care for their pets. Most reptile and amphibian pets are also captive-bred, to preserve the species and further establish captive-breeding programs. This helps save species from the main problem animals are faced with globally, including deforestation, loss of habitat and the encroachment of humans of the species native habitats.
Due to the lack of allergy potential, reptiles also make amazing pets and life companions. Pet owners who are allergic to dogs, cats, or birds don’t enjoy interacting with pets the same way as other pet owners.

Today, pet owners have access to tools and resources that enable them to provide their pets with the best care possible. Examples include thermostats to help regulate temperature, along with various heating products such as heat pads, heat panels, and lights, depending on the requirements of the animal. There are also lights available that provide a portion of the sun’s natural UV rays which are important to their health and wellbeing. One of the fastest growing segments of the world of Canadian Veterinarian schooling are the educational programs focused on specialty pets. These educational programs provide pet owners the veterinarian care and support to the specialty pet families across Canada.

Furthermore, groups such as CanHerp along with pet retailers are important resources available for pet owners to research the needs of their family pets. Scientific research and knowledge are also available that has been conducted by highly educated and experienced professionals. This knowledge has been passed onto pet owners world-wide via social networking, enabling responsible pet owners to provide the best of care for their animals. Recent research has shown that more naturalistic habitats add additional psychological stimuli for our pets, and many pet owners are now actively starting to engage in these new standards of husbandry.

Please take this package as CanHerp’s submission for consideration as you prepare your new Oshawa Pet Bylaw and remember CanHerp is here to collaborate with you in this development.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Advocating for the Canadian Pets

Download the CanHerp Prohibitive Species List

Specialty Pets

Includes the world of reptiles, amphibians, inverts, small mammals, birds, and aquatics.

Species Allowable and Prohibited List

Presenting the cases for each species we wanted to come together with the concerns that the majority of municipalities have considered throughout this process historically. All with the same two main concerns of public safety and the overall wellbeing of the specialty pets being maintained within the city at the time of the bylaw presentation.

On the reptile lists you will see considered elements related to each species. CanHerp took the Five Freedoms into consideration within our proposal.

Public Safety Risk – The potential risk that an animal may inflict harm to a human.

Husbandry Requirements – Within today’s open pet market, products are available to sustain all the needs of the animals proposed.

Invasive Species – None of these proposed animals would be able to sustain long term life within the climate of Oshawa to establish as an invasive species.

Available Captive-bred in North America – The species is available from captive breeding groups already established within North America.

Zoonotic Transmission Risk – the risk of transmission of a zoonotic germ being spread from specialty pet to human.

Vet Care Availability – is there a veterinarian available within a reasonable area that would provide the necessary care and support of the species.

Enrichment/Betterment of Life – Today pet owners have access to tools, such as digital hygrometers and thermostats, and resources such as online educational material and research. This enables them to provide their pets with enrichment and betterment of life.

CITES Controlled – Is the species under any Appendix of the CITES List. CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.

The Five Freedoms* is a core concept in animal welfare:

1. Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.

Given the achievements in research on dietary and nutritional needs of all species of pets and specialty pets, there is a wide range of feed available.

2. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Oshawa has one of the largest offerings of specialty pet veterinarian practices available on a per capita population scale. Within a 15-minute drive from strategic points of Oshawa, a veterinarian is available to support the treatment of an emergency case and/or a regular health schedule is at the doorstep of a specialty pet family.

3. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

All the habitats available to the pet and specialty pets families focus on the educational format of space for the species that require specific environments. For those that require specific items for habitat such as lighting, live foliage, climate control, environmental seasonal cycling all these support items are readily available.

4. Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and companionship.

All the habitats available to pets and specialty pets’ families will provide natural habitats that best mimic the natural habitat of that species. Specific items for habitat such as lighting, live foliage, climate control, environmental seasonal cycling all these support items are readily available. However, some species are solitary, and prefer to be on their own.

5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

With the evolution of information on each species’ origin surrounding habitat, dietary needs, lighting needs, veterinarian needs, exercise needs the overall mental stress is minimalized even being from captive-bred populations.

Canada respectively is one of the leading countries that has many regulatory steps to encourage legal import of animals as well as working as a safety wall in respect to our native habitat and native species. Here are the three federal segments that regulate the animals entering Canada:

Canada is one the leading members of the CITES treaty.

CITES Trade in protected species: international convention

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a treaty protecting wild plants or animals. It sets controls on international trade so that the species are not harmed. CITES protection applies to endangered animals and plants in any form:

  • Alive or dead
  • Whole or in parts
  • or any products made from them

A permit is needed to import, or export CITES protected species.
CITES has 3 levels of protection:

  • Level 1 (Appendix I) are species at risk. Commercial trade is generally not allowed.
  • Level 2 (Appendix II) are species that need controls to protect them. Trade is possible with the right permits.
  • Level 3 (Appendix III) are species at risk in a country needing help monitoring the trade.

When travelling between countries, you will need a CITES permit for many exotic pets. Some examples are:

  • Most parrots
  • Some lizards, turtles, and snakes
  • Hybrid cats (wild cat crossed with domestic cat)

Certificates of ownership, also known as pet passports, are available for species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Check before you travel.
The country you are visiting may also have additional requirements or restrictions.

CFIA Import Restriction NOTICE May 12, 2018
Canada prohibits the import of all species of the order Caudata (such as salamanders, newts, and mudpuppies) unless accompanied by a permit. The goal is to protect wild Canadian salamander species from a harmful fungus.
This import restriction includes living or dead specimens, as well as any of their:

  • Eggs
  • Sperm
  • Tissue culture
  • Embryos

It also includes any other parts or derivatives of species of the order Caudata.
This measure is implemented under the following act and regulation:

  • Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA)
  • Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations (WAPTR)

The current restriction came into effect on May 12, 2018. It replaced a temporary one-year import restriction on salamanders. The fungus continues to pose a significant conservation threat to Canadian salamanders.

Environment Canada

Environment Canada acts as the enforcing agents of the above regulatory bodies on behalf of Canada.

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