Dr. Adrian Walton with his 7-year-old Australian shepherd cross named Indy.(Contributed)

VIDEO: B.C. vet starts petition to ban the online sale of animals

796 signatures so far

A Maple Ridge veterinarian has started a petition advocating for more federal oversight for animals being sold online, following the deaths of dozens of dogs that arrived recently at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Dr. Adrian Walton, who works out of the Dewdney Animal Hospital, is hoping to pressure the federal government to stop the importation of dogs from puppy mills outside of Canada and to ban the sale of animals through online classified websites.

On June 13, more than 500 animals – a majority of them dogs – arrived in Toronto on a flight from Ukraine. There were 38 dogs reported found dead when they arrived at the airport.

They were shown being loaded into the airplane in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, in 38 degree Celsius weather, with multiple animals to a crate, explained Walton.

To top it off, he said, somebody decided to keep crates together using plastic wrap.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, that is investigating the incident, is responsible for the importation of animals – including dogs – into the country, in order to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases.

READ MORE: Investigation launched after deaths of 38 dogs Toronto-bound flight from Ukraine

A permit is required for a commercial import of a dog that is younger than eight months old.

In a statement online, the agency said that all dogs imported into Canada, “must be healthy and fit to travel with no visible signs of illness when leaving their country of origin.”

Animals must also have the necessary vaccines and be accompanied by the necessary export documentation.

“Once CBSA, [Canada Border Services Agency], and/or CFIA staff confirm that import requirements, as per the Health of Animals Act and the Health of Animals Regulations have been met, the CFIA must release the animal(s) to the importer. CFIA has no mandate to be able to follow up on the condition of the animals once they have left the airport,” read the statement.

However, Walton said, the agency should have known about this flight three or four weeks beforehand, if permits for the animals were checked.

READ MORE: Burmese python put on one-way flight to Toronto

Walton believes this is not a one-off event and questions how many other flights are there with this amount of animals coming into the country in this condition.

Walton started the petition on last Friday, June 26 and it currently has 796 signatures from across the country.

It will be available to sign until 4:23 p.m. on Aug. 25, he explained.

Walton is hoping that online classified sites like Kijiji will seriously reconsider whether this is an appropriate platform for them to be selling animals.

“Are we in our attempt to rescue animals from foreign countries, in fact, contributing to puppy mills in foreign countries,” asked Walton.

“But, the mere fact that an entire airplane, commercial airplane, can be hired to transport 500 animals is an inication that there is something fundamentally wrong with how we, as Canadians, get our pets,” he said.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Maple Ridgepuppies

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton, Kelowna, Osoyoos among most searched travel spots for Canadians

New data from Google shows many Canadians are searching for a vacation in the Okanagan

Penticton Vees add offensive punch in Costantini

The Vees are set to begin practice next month

OSNS receives $500 donation from the Knights of Pythias

Child health care centre has faced financial hardship amid COVID-19

White pride stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Unofficial holidays: here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Aug. 16 to 22

World Photography Day, Black Cat Appreciation Day and Rum Day all coming up this week

Public to weigh in on designs for future of Lake Country waterfront

District is seeking public feedback on the designs for the stretch of waterfront

Interpretive salmon classes at Kingfisher Creek get financial aid

Funds from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program will help raise Shuswap River salmon awareness

Illegal dumping, yelling at staff: problems at North Okanagan waste facility

Regional district says security cameras have been installed at the Silver Star Transfer Station

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Vernon pedestrian struck dies from injuries

Emergency responders are on scene on Main Street near the CIBC, traffic affected

UPDATE: Fire in Lake Country a “smoke chase”

A water bomber reportedly took off from Penticton and is on the way to Lake Country

Kelowna man convicted of not paying taxes after turbulent trial

Man claims he doesn’t meet the definition of a ‘person’ under the federal Income Tax Act

Most Read