Review of Ontario animal welfare system announced

NOTE: Various media reports have erroneously described the Zoocheck/Animal Alliance review as an “investigation into the OSPCA.” That is not correct. The intention of this project is to produce a comprehensive report on the entire animal welfare system in Ontario.

Media Release – October 25, 2016


TORONTO- Two of Canada’s national animal protection organizations, Zoocheck and Animal Alliance announced today that they have contracted Mike Zimmerman, the former senior civil servant in charge of Ontario’s animal welfare legislation, to produce a report on the current state of animal welfare in the province.

“We think the situation needs to be carefully reviewed”, said Zoocheck’s Director, Rob Laidlaw. “The people of Ontario care about animals, however most don’t know that our animal protection system has deficiencies that need to be addressed. Zoocheck’s focus is on animals in captivity and we have particular concerns in that area, but all animals deserve the best protection possible from cruelty and neglect and we want to do our part to help make that happen”.

“We have concerns that animal protection legislation is not consistently applied throughout Ontario,” added Animal Alliance’s Director, Liz White. “We believe our report will help the government fully understand that there are deficiencies in the system and take action to better protect animals in the province.”

In 2013, the Toronto Star called Zimmerman “the architect” of Ontario’s primary animal protection law, the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act. Now, his report will assess how effectively that law and others are being enforced throughout the province.

“I look forward to this opportunity,” said Zimmerman. “I took pride in helping to develop the changes to the OSPCA Act, but if there are gaps or deficiencies in how it works or is being delivered, they need to be identified and addressed.”

The report is expected to be completed and released to the public in March 2017.

Where: Queen’s Park Media Room, 1st Floor
When: Tuesday October 25, 2016, 10 AM

More information: Zoocheck 416-285-1744 or Animal Alliance 416-462-9541

Anyone wishing to provide input to this review should contact: