Dogs and cats sold in Toronto pet shops must now come from animal shelters, rescue groups or people giving up animals for free.
Toronto city council voted unanimously on Wednesday to make the changes, which aim to put an end to puppy and kitty mills.
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker put forward the motion. He said puppy mills are bad for pets and consumers.
“They’re kept in small cages, they’re not socialized, they have immense health problems,” he said. “Consumers are getting ripped off.”
The issue originally went to council in June but was postponed.
The council item is referred to as “Banning the Sale of Cats and Dogs in Pet Shops,” but it actually sets out that shops cannot sell dogs or cats unless the animals come from a municipal shelter, a Humane Society or registered rescue group.
“It really slams the door closed on people who mass produce animals for profit,” said Mr. De Baeremaeker, adding it should help to stop sales of such animals at flea markets as well.
There is a movement across the country to try to restrict sales from puppy mills. Last October, for example, Richmond, B.C., became the first Canadian city to vote to ban all puppy sales at pet stores.
Toronto’s decision may further the movement to ban or restrict pets being sold in shops, according to Liz White, from the Animal Alliance of Canada.
“The animal protection community from around North America has been watching very closely at what was going on at Toronto city hall and how this issue was unfolding,” she said.
With a report from Elizabeth ChurchReport Typo/Error