PRESS RELEASE: September 23rd, 2016
Saskatchewan Residents Overwhelmingly in Favour of Increasing Regulations for Pet Businesses
The Animal Protection Act Awareness and Specific Provisions
Two-thirds (68%) of Saskatchewan residents are aware that Saskatchewan has an Animal Protection Act. Residents were asked if they support or oppose increasing specific regulations within the Act and overall, a strong majority support increasing regulations.
Specifically, 88% of Saskatchewan residents support the idea that the definition of “distressed” in the Act should be expanded to include emotional and psychological suffering of an animal (53% strongly support, 35% somewhat support). Residents with a pet are more likely to strongly support this concept (57% vs. 47%).
Residents were also asked if they support the inclusion of other specific provisions in the Act. Overall, 97% of Saskatchewan residents support including specific provisions that would require veterinarians who suspect animal cruelty to report their suspicions to the appropriate enforcement agency in their community. Ninety-eight percent (98%) support including specific provisions that prohibit animal fighting and the same proportion support including specific provisions that all sexual contact with animals is a violation of the Act.
At present, there are currently no specific requirements for kennels in Saskatchewan. Rather, the Act refers to a code of practice that Canadian kennel operators can choose to follow. Respondents were asked if they support increasing regulations in the Act to include mandatory standards of care for kennels as well as other pet businesses. A strong majority of respondents support the introduction of mandatory standards of animal care for kennels, breeders, animal shelters, animal rescues, pet training services and pet grooming services within the Act, as outlined below:
Residents with a pet are slightly more inclined to strongly support having mandatory standards of care for all of the above mentioned pet businesses.
Also, at present, the Animal Protection Act only allows animal protection officers to enter non-residential premises without a warrant in cases “where animals are kept for sale, hire or exhibition”. Under this definition, kennels and other pet businesses are excluded. Respondents were asked if they would support changing the Act to allow animal protection officers to enter and inspect any animal-based business in Saskatchewan without a warrant. Overall, 92% of residents support this notion (66% strongly, 26% somewhat). Residents with a pet are slightly more likely to strongly support this change (69% vs. 61%).
Concerns with Saskatchewan Kennels
The majority of Saskatchewan residents (82%) are aware that 14 dogs recently passed away at a kennel in Saskatoon. Among pet owners, nearly all (83%) state they are now more concerned (50% much more concerned, 33% somewhat more concerned), about leaving their dog at a kennel overnight in light of this tragedy.
Saskatchewan Residents and their Pets
Of Saskatchewan pet owners, 95% agree, (77% strongly, 18% somewhat), that their pet is part of their family. Another 77% agree (42% strongly and 35% somewhat) that their pet is their best friend, and 75% agree (43% strongly and 32% somewhat) that they treat their pet like a child.
In addition, 93% of respondents (69% strongly and 24% somewhat) agree that animals have emotions and feelings that should be respected. Another three quarters (73%) agree that animals deserve the same rights as humans (with 33% strongly agreeing and 40% somewhat agreeing).
A total of 801 randomly selected SaskWatch Research® panel members participated in the online research study on September 20th and 21st, 2016. Quotas were set by age, gender, and region to match the general population of the province. Since the research is conducted online, it is considered to be a non-probability proportion sample and therefore, margins of error are not applicable.
About SaskWatch Research®
Insightrix began developing its SaskWatch Research® online market research panel in October 2007, using high quality techniques including telephone recruitment and referrals from existing panel members. Presently, there are over 15,000 active panel members representing all regions of the province and distributions of the general population. The panel membership closely matches the 2011 Census based on age, gender, household composition, household income, and education. For more information, please visit http://saskwatch.ca.
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