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

Kelowna West MLA elect Ben Stewart addresses a small gathering of campaign supporters at the West Kelowna Yacht Club, shortly after hearing of his riding victory on Oct. 24, 2020. (Photo - Phil McLachlan)
Despite NDP majority, Kelowna remains Liberal stronghold

As several ridings in the Lower Mainland fell to the BC NDP, the BC Liberals retained three Kelowna seats

McCleave is eight years old.
AlleyCats pet of the week

Meet McCleave and Nyx

Renee Merrifield speaking to media on her front doorstep after winning the Kelowna-Mission riding for the BC Liberal Party. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Renee Merrifield retains BC Liberal Party’s seat in Kelowna-Mission

Renee Merrifield will take over former BC Liberal Steve Thomson’s seat, which he held for the past 11 years

(Norm Letnick)
BC Liberals’ Norm Letnick keeps Kelowna-Lake Country seat

Letnick acknowledged there could still be changes when mail-in ballots are counted

Kelowna West MLA elect Ben Stewart addresses a small gathering of campaign supporters at the West Kelowna Yacht Club, shortly after hearing of his riding victory. (Photo - Phil McLachlan)
BC Liberal Ben Stewart re-elected as MLA in Kelowna West

Stewart said he did not expect the NDP government to win a majority

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

(Google Maps)
Collision closes Highway 97A in North Okanagan

The highway has been closed since early this morning

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Most Read