Statement from Toronto Humane Society President Bob Hambley

TORONTO, May 10 /CNW/ - "I am deeply saddened to learn that approximately 350 animals will be euthanized shortly at the OSPCA headquarters in Newmarket.

This type of action to respond to a treatable condition such as ringworm is unprecedented. The OSPCA is taking the easy solution rather than working to save animals lives.

The OSPCA needs to reconsider this solution and consult with outside experts to look at treatment alternatives to save these animals lives.

Animals that have ringworm, and other transmittable diseases, come into shelters all across Ontario, that is part of dealing with a diverse animal population. The solution for these shelters when they do have outbreak incidents should not be to simply kill all the animals to remedy the problem. The THS has successfully treated cases of ringworm on several occasions. The protocols at our shelter are very clear; isolate, confirm and treat. By following those simple steps ringworm is a highly treatable and curable disease.

Ringworm outbreaks are quite rare as most shelters have proactive detection systems in place where animals that come in are screened and tested. Ringworm takes days or weeks to spread through a shelter, not hours.

The OSPCA has not provided adequate explanations as to the reasoning behind this decision and there are many unanswered questions:

    -   Why was the OSPCA shelter and Newmarket not able to detect and
        isolate cases before it became a shelter wide outbreak?

    -   Was the OSPCA negligent in their care of animals in not having
        proper controls in place that would prevent an outbreak?

    -   What veterinarians have made this decision to euthanize 350
        animals, some that have not even tested positive for ringworm?
        Did they consult with any outside experts before making this

OSPCA CEO Kate MacDonald has failed in her duties to protect animals and should immediately step down from her position. We call on Premier McGuinty to order an investigation to answer the questions of the OSPCA's care of the animals in their shelter to determine if they have provided adequate shelter and medical care to their animals."

SOURCE Toronto Humane Society

For further information: For further information: Ian McConachie, Senior Communicator, Toronto Humane Society, (416) 984-3097,

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