Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Noah's Pet Ark exploiting pets as gifts
December 3, 2007
Clearly the message not to buy pets as Christmas gifts hasn't reached everybody. Breeders are advertising puppies as the ideal gift, people are posting on Craigslist looking to surprise their loved one with a kitten, and Noah's Pet Ark in the Park Royal Shopping Centre if offering to hold your purchase until December 24th.
On today's visit, an assortment of baby rabbits, including Holland Lops and Netherland Dwarfs were going for $50.00 and Lionheads for $60.00. Domestic kittens were selling for $250.00 and assorted breeds of puppies were over $1000.00. At $1100.00 each, the Shih Tzu's have all been spoken for. There's a ferret left, though, for anybody wanting to fork out $250.00.
And so you have it, the shameless pet exploitation industry seems to not only be alive and well, but thriving. At least for this West Vancouver retailer.
The Rabbit Advocacy Group of BC and Pets In Need Society appeared before West Vancouver Council on December 17th on this matter. As part of our presentation on Pets - Not an Impulse Buy the consequences and costs to both pets and the community were spoken to. We addressed a number of animal welfare issues including the fact that societal values increasingly reject the notion that pets are commodities or property to be bred, bought, and sold and then discarded (or destroyed) once they become unwanted.
Park Royal South, in which Noah's Pet Ark is situated, is on Squamish Nation land so what authority can be exercised will be part of the follow-up.
We asked that Council support our efforts and address the matter of selling live animals in retail outlets such as Noah's Pet Ark. Proactive municipal legislation that would address the welfare of animals and reduce the costs to the community could include steps such as:
Space allocation for satellite adoption centres in stores
An in-store display that would provide full details on the origin of the animals
Sales to be limited to only those animals that have been spayed or neutered. In the case of rabbits, the age of maturity is between 4-6 months of age. In the case of kittens, the age of maturity is between 5-6 months of age
Special licensing for stores that sell pet livestock including mandatory and frequent inspections for such stores
While we would like to see the sale of all live animals in stores stop, previous correspondence with staff in other municipalities indicated that prohibiting sales was not a route they were prepared to take at this time. Under the Community Charter Council may regulate, prohibit and impose requirements in relation to animals. It is a concurrent jurisdiction power and can only be exercised in accordance with the Environment and Wildlife Regulation. The European Rabbit is listed as an "alien invasive species" and therefore its sale may be prohibited but dogs and cats are not listed as a "wildlife species" so their sale would not be prohibited. Also, business licensing power cannot be used to prohibit the commercial activity/sale of animals.
General agreement has been that interested parties and local government meet to discuss this issue and brainstorm specific action steps. Update: Council has filed our report for information purposes only and left it open for possible action at a future time, should we so request.
November 1, 2008 Noah's Pet Ark, a longtime family-run business is now officially a Pet Habitat store. In March, 2011, it became CanPets.
If you have any concerns regarding pet stores please contact the BC SPCA 604-681-7271 and ask that an officer investigate your complaint. Don't forget to follow up with the investigating constable and keep monitoring the situation. The animals depend on you.
Visit our Animal Welfare/Advocacy page for more
'A wish changes nothing. A decision with action changes all!' Taking action for the voiceless.