Dear Premier McGuinty,
We are petitioning to ask that you amend the Animals for Research Act to ban the use of lost pets from Ontario's municipal pounds and shelters for animal experimentation.
According to the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), from 2000 to 2005, 78,506 dogs and cats were used for experi- mental purposes in Canada, 22,747 or 29% were used in Ontario. Of all the dogs and cats used for research in Canada, 59% or 45,966 were lost pets,taken from pounds. Approximately 13,300 of those were from Ontario. This practice is known as pound seizure or pound release and Ontario's Animals For Research Act makes this practice the law! Ontario is now the only province in Canada where pound seizure is mandated.
Dogs and cats who end up in municipal pounds deserve a second chance at life in a loving home, not as a research subject in a cold sterile laboratory cage. Because of Ontario's Act, many of our publicly funded municipal animal shelters have become little more than pet disposal operations and suppliers of cheap research animals. Instead these shelters should be returning lost pets to their owners and finding the rest permanent homes. There is no doubt that the public trust and confidence in these facilities is severely compromised.
Several countries including Great Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands have prohibited this cruel and archaic practice. Indeed, progressive Canadian cities like Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Clarington and Vancouver have already banned the practice. This is why it is imperative that you to take a stand against pound seizure and make it illegal in Ontario. Your govern- ment must send a clear message that homeless pets need to be in homes, not laboratory cages. We look forward to receiving a response from you.