MONTRÉAL, Sept. 10, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Association nationale d'intervention pour le mieux-être des animaux (ANIMA-Québec) is launching Quebec's first-ever certification program targeting kennels and cat and dog breeding conditions. Following on Quebec's P-42 legislation, this comes as a giant leap forward in animal safety and welfare, particularly since the program gets off the ground with a powerful campaign to raise public awareness of the cruelty of substandard breeding facilities.
The certification program provides Quebecers with the means to make an informed decision when it comes to acquiring a pet. It guarantees the quality of the kennel and proper conditions for raising cats and dogs. Facilities must meet over 140 different criteria, comply with terms of reference and pass inspections prior to becoming certified. The criteria address everything from boarding conditions to daily care for the animals and breeder training. Those who purchase a pet from a breeder certified by ANIMA-Québec will now have the assurance that their pet's welfare has been taken to heart.
"This program complements the existing legislation and aims to develop Quebec kennels that are certified according to rigorous standards. In addition, we really want to change the purchasing habits of Quebec families when they decide to adopt a pet. The more consumers demand breeder certification, the more breeders will want to become certified. Eventually, non-compliant kennels will fall into public disfavour," said Dr. Caroline De Jaham, president of ANIMA-Québec.
"Certification is a formidable weapon in the fight against animal cruelty. It will deal a blow to puppy and kitten mills. People looking for a pet will now be able to go to ANIMA-Québec's website and search the directory for a certified kennel before they make their purchase," she added.
ANIMA-Québec is the first organization dedicated to improving pet care facilities and conditions in order to promote animal welfare through the introduction of certification programs. The programs complement the Animal Health Protection Act (P-42) and reflect the philosophy of Bill P-54, which aims to improve the legal status of animals.
The certification program will be launched via a publicity offensive showing a 30-second video clip of a woman with her face hidden talking about her experience as a victim of exploitation and trafficking of babies. As she comes out of the shadows, she is revealed to be a female Afghan hound, emphasizing ANIMA-Québec's focus on the unscrupulous practices of inadequate breeding facilities and puppy and kitten mills, which are abundant throughout Quebec. "The campaign deliberately juxtaposes what goes on with humans and canines to get people to identify with the practice. The intent is to capture people's imagination in an attempt to counter compulsive buying and get families to think before getting a pet," says Dr De Jaham.
The campaign will also include print materials and Web advertising with two other testimonials from a canine incest victim and a cat living in unsanitary conditions.
It should be remembered that puppy and kitten mills are commercial operations in which dogs and cats are considered merchandise and are often kept in squalid conditions. It is the responsibility of every one of us to curb the phenomenon by encouraging best practices in breeding and purchasing pets from breeders certified by ANIMA-Québec.
For further information: Sources: Caroline Gamache, Administrator, ANIMA-Québec, 514 349-0327; Information: Véronique Goyette, Proulx Communications, 450 582-8131