The Animal Protection Act became law in 1999; under Saskatchewan law, animals are protected from “distress”.
An animal is considered to be in distress when it is:
- deprived of food, water, or adequate shelter
- injured, sick, in pain, or suffering
- abused or neglected
The Animal Protection Act excludes generally accepted management practices, which are listed in the Animal Protection Regulations, 2000. (These regulations also include information about the powers and responsibilities of Animal Protection Officers in dealing with animals in distress.)
According to The Animal Protection Act as amended in November 2010:
4 (1) No person shall cause an animal to be in distress.
4 (2) No person responsible for an animal shall cause or permit the animal to be or to continue to be in distress.
Penalties for violations of The Animal Protection Act were also increased. Maximum fines of $25,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both fines and imprisonment may be ordered.
The Animal Protection Act is enforced by Animal Protection Officers who work for a humane society or SPCA. Members of a municipal police service or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are also recognized under the Act as “animal protection officers.”
Anyone may report suspect animal abuse.