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OVMA Position Statements August 2017

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OVMA 420 Bronte Street South, Suite 205, Milton, Ontario L9T 0H9 T. 905.875.0756 or 1.800.670.1702 (toll-free) F. 905.875.0958 or 1.877.482.5941 (toll-free) OVMA Position Statement – Pet Overpopulation OVMA recognizes that pet overpopulation is of major concern both with regard to animal and human welfare. Animal welfare issues include undue suffering encountered by homeless, domestic animals as a result of poor housing, nutrition and improper health care as well as the needless euthanasia of unwanted pets. Human welfare concerns include potential health hazards, secondary to zoonotic diseases and injuries inflicted by aggressive animals, as well as the social conflicts relating to our responsibilities towards domestic animals. OVMA commends the work that has been done, and is still ongoing in the investigation of this problem, by a variety of animal welfare groups including, but not limited to, humane organizations, municipal animal control bodies, the veterinary profession and a variety of animal rights groups. As a result of these ongoing efforts, OVMA recognizes that the pet overpopulation problem is multi-factorial in its etiology. Any pet population is affected by birth rate, death rate, pet relinquishment/abandonment, the population structure of pets, the roaming tendencies of animals from one geographic area to another as well as human demographics and attitudes (Ref. #1). As such, any solution to the pet overpopulation problem must also be multi-factorial, with the realization that there is no simple, single-faceted, panacea approach. Therefore, it is the opinion of OVMA that efforts directed towards solving this problem must address the following 5 main areas: 1. Animal Control and Legislation 2. Pet Sterilization 3. Education 4. Data Collection and Critical Assessment 5. A Cooperative Approach 1. Animal Control And Legislation a) This requires the drafting, implementation and enforcement of animal control laws that are fair and equitable, but still act as a deterrent against irresponsible pet ownership. These laws should address the following areas: i) Public safety requirements (ie. appropriate pet restraint and control) ii) Public health provisions (ie. mandatory rabies vaccination and "pooper scooper" laws) iii) Nuisance abatement provisions (ie. noise infractions, property damage, wandering pets) iv) Animal welfare (ie. animal cruelty) (Ref. #2) OVMA supports the principles reflected in CVMA's Sample Municipal Bylaws Regulating the Keeping and Controlling of Companion Animals.

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