Animal Cruelty

Gain a greater understanding of the animal cruelty laws Ontario SPCA investigators use in their efforts to protect animals from abuse, abandonment and neglect and to prosecute offenders by visiting the federal, provincial and municipal legislation links below.

Ontario SPCA investigators may enforce any law pertaining to the prevention of cruelty to, and the welfare of, animals. This includes legislation pertaining to animals within the Criminal Code of Canada, the principal tool used by investigators to bring cases of extreme cruelty and neglect to court; the Ontario SPCA Act, the provincial legislation that gives Ontario SPCA investigators their policing powers to act on reported instances of animal cruelty; and municipal laws, which vary widely across the province.

If you suspect Animal Cruelty or Neglect please call the Government of Ontario’s  new toll-free number available 24/7 to report animal welfare concerns: 1-833-9ANIMAL (1-833-926-4625)

Comparative Analysis Chart of Provincial Legislation

Federal Laws

Criminal Code of Canada – Cruelty to Animals
Health of Animals Act
Migratory Birds Convention Act

Provincal Laws

Animals for Research Act
Dead Animal Disposal Act
Dog Owner’s Liability Act
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
Food Safety and Quality Act
Livestock Community Sales Act
Livestock and Livestock Products Act
Livestock Medicines Act
Milk Act
Ontario SPCA Act