Proposed Amendments to the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 (PAWS Act)
Summary of Decision:
The proposed amendments received Royal Assent on June 8, 2023.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
This proposal, if approved, would strengthen animal welfare protection and enforcement, and increase effectiveness and efficiencies, with no anticipated cost impacts or anticipated burdens for regulated entities (i.e., businesses, not-for-profits, municipalities or the broader public sector). Some operational streamlining and reduction of administrative burden could occur for police services, depending on their level of enforcement of the PAWS Act.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
June 19, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
On January 1, 2020, the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 (PAWS Act) came into force. It requires compliance with standards of care and prohibits causing animals distress to help ensure animals in the province are protected and treated in a humane manner.

Animal Welfare Services (AWS) within the Ministry of the Solicitor General (ministry) is responsible for enforcing the PAWS Act. AWS is comprised of a chief animal welfare inspector and provincial animal welfare inspectors, including inspectors with specialized expertise in livestock, zoos, aquariums, and equines, who provide enforcement across Ontario.

Stemming from lessons learned since 2020, the proposed amendments aim to make targeted enhancements and clarifications to inspector powers and provide operational flexibility, enhance tools for cost recovery, streamline processes to align with current operations and clarify and update Animal Care Review Board (ACRB) processes. These amendments would ultimately enable more efficient and effective operations and improve animal welfare in Ontario.

See attached document for further detail regarding the proposed amendments.

The ministry welcomes your comments and feedback.
Contact Address:
Ministry of the Solicitor General
Strategic Policy, Research, and Innovation Division
George Drew Building
25 Grosvenor Street, 9th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1Y6
Royal Assent Date:
June 8, 2023