Have your say: Proposed exemption under PAWS Act for livestock guardian dogs


Ontario introduced the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019 (PAWS Act) on January 1, 2020. Like most legislation, certain aspects of the act are up for consultation.

Most recently, livestock groups including the Ontario Sheep Farmers (OSF), have pushed for a change in wording and a specific exemption from certain rules for livestock guardian dogs who reside outside with flocks.

Currently, dogs “kept outdoors” have certain requirements under the PAWS Act, including requiring access to an insulated dog house at all times. It’s also unclear how training devices, such as dangle leads, may be treated under the act.

There is an active proposal open for comment that would make changes to the definition of a dog “kept outdoors”, as well as update the standards of care that apply to dogs “kept outdoors” with respect to their physical environment, health and nutrition. In particular, the proposed updates cover requirements for:

• Outdoor doghouses;
• Containment;
• Food and water;
• Grooming and nail care; and,
• Health and welfare maintenance.

If approved, these regulatory amendments would replace the current standards of care for dogs that live outdoors and set out new, more comprehensive standards for the care of dogs kept outdoors. The ministry is proposing that the updated standards, if approved, would come into force on July 1, 2022.

The comment period ends March 7, 2022.

To read the background documents, the proposed changes in full, and to add your own comments, please tap here.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Please register to read and comment.


Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.