Current Status: First Reading Carried
An Act to
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:
Interpretation and Application
1. In this Act,
"animal" means a non-human vertebrate, other than a fish; ("animal")
"Director" means the Director appointed by the Minister; ("directeur")
"enclosure" means any exhibit, cage, paddock, pen, grotto, shelter, building or any other structure that is used to contain, display or house an animal in a zoo; ("endroit clos")
"inspector" means an inspector appointed under section 18; ("inspecteur")
"investigator" means an investigator appointed under section 19; ("enquêteur")
"licence" means a licence issued under this Act; ("permis")
"licensee" means a holder of a licence; ("titulaire d'un permis")
"Minister" means the member of the Executive Council to whom administration for this Act is assigned under the Executive Council Act; ("ministre")
"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made under this Act; ("prescrit")
"Registrar" means the Registrar appointed by the Minister; ("registrateur")
"zoo" means a garden, park or other establishment where animals are kept for the purpose of exhibition, education or entertainment of the public, but does not include a travelling circus, a pet shop, a pet show or exhibition, a rodeo, an agricultural fair or a petting farm involving only domestic species of animals. ("jardin zoologique")
2. This Act applies to all zoos.
3. (1) The Minister shall appoint a Director for the purposes of this Act.
(2) The person appointed as Director shall not be appointed as Registrar.
4. (1) The Minister shall appoint a Registrar for the purposes of this Act.
(2) The person appointed as Registrar shall not be appointed as Director.
5. (1) The Director shall make a report annually to the Minister which shall include information relating to,
(a) the number of zoos;
(b) inspection and enforcement matters; and
(c) the number and types of convictions under this Act.
Report to be public
(2) Within 30 days after submitting the report to the Minister, the Director shall make the report available to the public, including, but not limited to, by making the report available on the Ministry website.
6. (1) No person shall establish, operate or maintain a zoo unless the person holds a licence under this Act.
(2) A person who is operating or maintaining a zoo on the day that subsection (1) comes into force may continue to operate or maintain the zoo without a licence for one year after the day subsection (1) comes into force.
Application for licence
7. (1) A person may apply to the Registrar for the issuance or the renewal of a licence.
(2) A person is not eligible for a licence unless the person,
(a) has attained the age of 18 years, if an individual;
(b) satisfies the Registrar that the zoo shall be operated in accordance with the prescribed standards; and
(c) satisfies the Registrar that the zoo shall be operated by persons who meet the prescribed training qualifications.
Form of application
(3) An application for the issuance or the renewal of a licence shall be in a form approved by the Registrar, shall be completed and signed by the applicant and shall include,
(a) the information with respect to the application that the Registrar determines;
(b) payment of the fee established by the Registrar; and
(c) proof of liability insurance in the prescribed amount.
Information in application
(4) The information mentioned in clause (3) (a) must include, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Information relating to personal identification of the applicant.
2. Information on the qualifications of the persons who will be employed at the zoo to care for the animals.
3. Specification of the number, species and types of animals that will be kept at the zoo, including information on births, deaths, sales and transfers.
4. A written plan, including information on,
i. the manner in which the zoo will be operated, including information on staffing, scheduling and funding,
ii. how the facility will take care of its animals in accordance with the prescribed standards,
iii. how the facility and its animal enclosures will be designed and constructed in accordance with the prescribed standards, and
iv. how the facility will respond in emergency situations, including a strategy to deal with escapes and the disposition of animals in the event of facility closure due to insolvency or licence revocation.
Terms of licence
(5) Subject to section 9, a licence is subject to such terms and conditions as may be imposed by the Registrar.
(6) A licence is not transferable.
Refusal to issue or renew a licence
8. Subject to section 9, the Registrar may refuse to issue a licence to or may suspend or revoke a licence or refuse to renew a licence of,
(a) an applicant or licensee who, in the opinion of the Registrar, does not satisfy the criteria set out in section 7;
(b) a licensee who is failing to comply with or contravening this Act, a prescribed standard or the terms or conditions of the person's licence;
(c) a licensee who is not following the plan referred to in paragraph 4 of subsection 7 (4);
(d) a licensee who, based on their conduct or, if the licensee is a corporation, based on the conduct of its officers or directors, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the licensee is not competent to operate the zoo in a responsible manner in accordance with this Act and the prescribed standards;
(e) a person who, in the opinion of the Registrar, it is not in the public interest to license; or
(f) a person who has been found guilty of an offence involving an animal under any Act of any jurisdiction.
Notice re: refusal, suspension, etc.
9. (1) The Registrar shall notify an applicant or licensee in writing if he or she proposes to,
(a) refuse to grant or renew a licence;
(b) suspend or revoke a licence; or
(c) apply conditions to a licence or renewal of a licence.
Content of notice
(2) The notice of proposal shall set out the reasons for the proposed action and shall state that the applicant or licensee is entitled to a hearing before the Director if the applicant or licensee mails or delivers, within 15 days after service of the notice, a written request for a hearing to the Registrar and to the Director.
If no request for hearing
(3) If an applicant or licensee does not request a hearing in accordance with subsection (2), the Registrar may carry out the proposal.
(4) If a hearing is requested, the Director shall hold the hearing and may by order direct the Registrar to carry out the Registrar's proposal or substitute his or her opinion for that of the Registrar and the Director may attach conditions to the order or to a licence.
Temporary suspension of licence
10. (1) If the Registrar proposes to suspend or revoke a licence under section 9 and if the Registrar considers it in the public interest to do so, the Registrar may by order temporarily suspend the licence.
(2) An order under subsection (1) takes effect immediately.
Expiry of order
(3) If a hearing is requested under section 9,
(a) the order expires 15 days after the written request for a hearing is received by the Director; or
(b) the Director may extend the time of expiration until the hearing is concluded, if a hearing is commenced within the 15-day period referred to in clause (a).
(4) Despite subsection (3), if the Director is satisfied that the conduct of the licensee has delayed the commencement of the hearing, the Director may extend the time of the expiration for the order,
(a) until the hearing commences; and
(b) once the hearing commences, until the hearing is concluded.
Requirements for hearing request
11. (1) A request for a hearing under section 9 is sufficiently served if delivered personally or sent by registered mail to the Registrar and to the Director.
(2) If service is made by registered mail, it shall be deemed to be made on the third day after the day of mailing.
(3) Despite subsection (1), the Director may order any other method of service.
12. (1) No person who is refused a licence or renewal of a licence or whose licence is revoked may apply to the Registrar for a licence until at least one year has passed since the refusal or revocation.
(2) No person whose licence is suspended may apply to the Registrar for a licence during the suspension.
Rejection of further application
(3) The Registrar may, without giving written reasons, reject an application made after the time period specified in subsection (1) if, in the Registrar's opinion, the application discloses no substantial new evidence or no material change in circumstances since the refusal, revocation or suspension took effect.
Continuation pending renewal
13. If, before the expiry of a licence, the licensee applies for renewal of the licence and pays the established fee, the licence is deemed to continue until the Registrar grants or refuses to grant the renewal.
Cancellation on request
14. The Registrar may cancel a licence upon the request in writing of the licensee.
Regulation of Licensees and Investigations
15. A licensee shall prominently display the licence issued under this Act at the zoo.
Standards of care
16. (1) A person who operates and maintains a zoo shall ensure that each animal in the zoo receives, in accordance with the prescribed standards, care appropriate to the species and the animal's individual needs, including, but not limited to,
(a) the provision of an appropriate diet and potable drinking water at all times;
(b) the provision of space sufficient to allow for the expression of species-typical behaviours, movement and exercise;
(c) the provision of appropriate substrates, shelter, privacy, furnishings and environmental enrichment;
(d) the provision of a physical environment that satisfies the full range of biological and behavioural needs, whether at the licensee's premises or away from them;
(e) the provision of an appropriate social environment; and
(f) the provision of appropriate veterinary care.
Facilities for veterinary services
(2) A person who operates and maintains a zoo shall ensure that the zoo contains or has access to facilities for treating animals in need of veterinary services in accordance with the prescribed standards.
Protection of the public, employees
(3) A person who operates and maintains a zoo shall ensure in accordance with the prescribed standards that,
(a) there are adequate barriers to prevent contact between the public and the animals;
(b) there are appropriate safety features and management practices regarding the feeding and watering areas for the animals to ensure the safety of the animals' caretakers;
(c) there is a perimeter barrier around the facility to discourage escaped animals from leaving the premises and feral animals and human trespassers from entering; and
(d) there are emergency procedures for human injury, animal escape, including a formal plan for recapture, and natural disaster.
17. Every licensee shall maintain the prescribed records with respect to the premises and conditions in which the licensee keeps or has possession of animals.
Inspection by Registrar
18. (1) The registrar or a person designated in writing by the registrar as an inspector may conduct an inspection and may, as part of that inspection, enter and inspect at any reasonable time the zoo or the business premises of a licensee, other than any part of the premises used as a dwelling, for the purpose of,
(a) ensuring compliance with this Act and the prescribed standards;
(b) ensuring the licensee remains entitled to licensing.
Powers on inspection
(2) While carrying out an inspection, an inspector,
(a) is entitled to free access to all parts of the zoo to inspect all animals and their enclosures and to all documents and records of the zoo being inspected that are relevant to the inspection;
(b) may conduct tests or take measurements or samples for analysis and may record the physical condition of the animal by means of photography, video recording or other visual recording;
(c) may use any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system used in carrying on business in order to produce information in any form; and
(d) may, upon giving a receipt for them, remove for examination and may copy anything relevant to the inspection, including any data storage disk or other retrieval device in order to produce information, but shall promptly return the thing to the person being inspected.
(3) An inspector shall produce, on request, evidence of his or her authority to carry out an inspection.
Assistance to be given
(4) An inspector may, in the course of an inspection, require a person to produce a document or record and to provide whatever assistance is reasonably necessary, including using any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system to produce information in any form, and the person shall produce the document or record or provide the assistance.
(5) No person shall obstruct an inspector conducting an inspection or withhold from him or her or conceal, alter or destroy any documents or records that are relevant to the inspection or conceal or destroy any animal that is relevant to the investigation.
Use of force prohibited
(6) An inspector shall not use force to enter and inspect premises under this section.
Admissibility of copies
(7) A copy of a document or record certified by an inspector to be a true copy of the original is admissible in evidence to the same extent as the original and has the same evidentiary value.
(8) During an inspection, an inspector may be accompanied by such persons with specialized expertise as the inspector considers advisable.
19. (1) The Director or a person authorized in writing by the Director may appoint investigators for the purpose of conducting investigations.
Certificate of appointment
(2) The Director or a person authorized in writing by the Director shall issue to every investigator a certificate of appointment bearing the Director's signature or a facsimile of it.
Proof of appointment
(3) Every investigator who exercises powers under this Act shall, upon request, produce the certificate of appointment as an investigator.
20. (1) Upon application made without notice by an investigator appointed under this Act, a justice of the peace may issue a warrant, if he or she is satisfied on information under oath that there is reasonable ground for believing that,
(a) a person has contravened or is contravening this Act or the regulations; and
(b) there is,
(i) in any building, dwelling, receptacle or place anything relating to the contravention of this Act or the regulations, or
(ii) information or evidence relating to the contravention of this Act or the regulations that may be obtained through the use of an investigative technique or procedure or the doing of anything described in the warrant.
Powers under warrant
(2) A warrant obtained under subsection (1) authorizes an investigator appointed under subsection 19 (1),
(a) upon producing his or her appointment, to enter or access the building, dwelling, receptacle or place specified in the warrant and examine and seize anything described in the warrant;
(b) to use any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system used in carrying on business in order to produce information or evidence described in the warrant, in any form;
(c) to exercise any of the powers specified in subsection (10); and
(d) to use any investigative technique or procedure or do anything described in the warrant.
Entry of dwelling
(3) Despite subsection (2), an investigator shall not exercise the power under a warrant to enter a place, or part of a place, used as a dwelling, unless,
(a) the justice of the peace is informed that the warrant is being sought to authorize entry into a dwelling; and
(b) the justice of the peace authorizes the entry into the dwelling.
Conditions on search warrant
(4) A warrant obtained under subsection (1) shall contain such conditions as the justice of the peace considers advisable to ensure that any search authorized by the warrant is reasonable in the circumstances.
(5) The warrant may authorize persons who have special, expert or professional knowledge to accompany and assist the investigator in respect of the execution of the warrant.
Time of execution
(6) An entry or access under a warrant issued under this section shall be made between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., unless the warrant specifies otherwise.
Expiry of warrant
(7) A warrant issued under this section shall name a date of expiry, which shall be no later than 30 days after the warrant is issued, but a justice of the peace may extend the date of expiry for an additional period of no more than 30 days, upon application without notice by an investigator.
Use of force
(8) An investigator may call upon police officers for assistance in executing the warrant and the investigator may use whatever force is reasonably necessary to execute the warrant.
(9) No person shall obstruct an investigator executing a warrant under this section or withhold from him or her or conceal, alter or destroy anything relevant to the investigation being conducted pursuant to the warrant.
(10) An investigator may, in the course of executing a warrant, require a person to produce the evidence or information described in the warrant and to provide whatever assistance is reasonably necessary, including using any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system to produce, in any form, the evidence or information described in the warrant and the person shall produce the evidence or information or provide the assistance.
Return of seized items
(11) An investigator shall return any item seized under this section within a reasonable time.
(12) A copy of a document or record certified by an investigator as being a true copy of the original is admissible in evidence to the same extent as the original and has the same evidentiary value.
Searches without warrant
21. (1) If an investigator believes on reasonable grounds that there is in a building or other place any thing that will afford evidence of an offence under this Act or the regulations but that the time required to obtain a search warrant would lead to the loss, removal or destruction of the evidence, the investigator may, without a search warrant, enter and search the building or other place.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a building or part of a building or other place that is being used as a dwelling.
Application of s. 20
(3) Subsections 20 (5), (8), (9), (10), (11) and (12) apply with necessary modifications to a search under this section.
Removal of animal
22. (1) An investigator may remove a live animal from a zoo where it is and take possession of it on behalf of the Minister if the investigator finds,
(a) the animal is not being kept in accordance with the prescribed standards;
(b) the animal is not being kept in accordance with the licence;
(c) the animal is otherwise at risk or poses a risk to members of the public; or
(d) the animal is in the possession of an unlicensed zoo.
(2) The person from whom the investigator has taken the animal shall pay the reasonable costs of the investigator in removing and caring for the animal until the investigator can make adequate provision for placing the animal with an authorized person or otherwise disposing of the animal.
Humane destruction of an animal
23. An inspector or an investigator may destroy an animal, cause an animal to be destroyed or order the destruction of an animal,
(a) with the consent of the owner; or
(b) if a veterinarian has examined the animal and has advised the inspector or investigator in writing that the animal is ill or injured and, in his or her opinion, destruction of the animal is the most humane course of action.
24. (1) A person is guilty of an offence who,
(a) knowingly furnishes false information in an application under this Act or in a statement or a record required to be furnished under this Act;
(b) contravenes or fails to comply with a term of a licence; or
(c) contravenes or fails to comply with subsection 6 (1), 16 (1), (2) or (3), section 17 or subsection 18 (4) or (5) or 20 (9) or (10).
(2) Every director or officer of a corporation is guilty of an offence who,
(a) knowingly causes, authorizes, permits or participates in the commission by the corporation of an offence described in subsection (1); or
(b) fails to take reasonable care to prevent the corporation from committing an offence described in subsection (1).
(3) A person who is not a corporation and who is convicted of an offence described in subsection (1) or (2) is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both.
(4) A corporation convicted of an offence described in subsection (1) is liable to a fine of not more than $250,000.
(5) If a person is convicted of an offence under this Act, the court making the conviction may, in addition to any other penalty, make an order prohibiting the convicted person or, if the convicted person is a corporation, the directors and officers of the corporation from owning animals or operating a zoo, or both, for any period of time specified in the order, including, in the case of an individual, for the remainder of the person's life and, in the case of a corporation, forever.
25. (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations in respect of the regulation of zoos, including regulations in respect of but not limited to,
(a) governing applications for licences, including prescribing qualifications for licence eligibility, the information that an applicant is required to provide in an application, the duration of licences and the amount of fees;
(b) respecting the information that is to be furnished in a plan under paragraph 4 of subsection 7 (4);
(c) governing appropriate diets for animals and the provision of potable drinking water to animals at all times;
(d) governing the provision of space sufficient to allow for the expression of species-type movements, behaviours and exercise;
(e) governing the provision of appropriate substrates, shelter, privacy, furnishings and other aspects of enclosure design and environment enrichment;
(f) governing the provision of a physical environment that satisfies the full range of biological and behavioural needs, whether at the licensee's premises or away from them;
(g) governing the provision of a proper social environment for the animals;
(h) governing the provision of appropriate veterinary care and veterinary and quarantine facilities;
(i) governing health, safety and security provisions to protect the animals, visitors, caretakers and the surrounding community;
(j) governing the general care, treatment, health and welfare of animals kept at a zoo;
(k) governing the reports that shall be made to the Minister by licensees;
(l) providing for the issuing of licences;
(m) exempting designated zoos from specific provisions of this Act or the regulations;
(n) respecting the humane euthanasia of animals;
(o) respecting education and conservation programs;
(p) governing the breeding, acquisition, disposal and transfer of animals;
(q) governing when, how and under what circumstances and conditions animals can be displayed at locations other than the zoo premises;
(r) prescribing anything that this Act mentions may be prescribed;
(s) respecting any matter necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.
Scope of regulations
(2) A regulation may be general or particular in its application.
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997
26. Section 40 of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 is repealed.
Commencement and Short Title
27. This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.
28. The short title of this Act is the Regulation of Zoos Act, 2006.
The Bill enacts an Act that regulates the operation of zoos in Ontario. All persons who establish, operate or maintain a zoo are required to hold a licence (subsection 6 (1)). The Registrar is given the authority to refuse to issue a licence or to suspend or revoke a licence or to refuse to renew one for a variety of reasons (section 8), but an applicant or licensee is entitled to a hearing if the Registrar proposes to take any of these steps (section 9).
Standards of care are set out in the Act (subsection 16 (1)). There are requirements for access to veterinary services (subsection 16 (2)) and for the protection of the public and employees (subsection 16 (3)). Inspectors are appointed under the Act (subsection 18 (1)) and the Act allows for regulatory inspections (section 18). Investigators are also appointed under the Act (section 19) and they may act under the power of search warrants to enforce the Act (section 20). Various offences are listed in the Act (section 24).
The Lieutenant Governor in Council is given broad regulation making authority (section 25).