Dr. Adrian Walton with his 7-year-old Australian shepherd cross named Indy.(Contributed)

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

The Salmon Arm Observer’s annual food drive is underway. For donations of one or two bags of non-perishable items, donors receive a gift certificate from one of several participating local merchants. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm merchants, Observer team up for food drive

Gift cards and certificates available for donations of non-perishable items

Emergency crews respond to crash just before midnight on Trans-Canada Highway east of Salmon Arm. (File photo)
Two pick-up trucks collide head-on on Trans-Canada Highway near Salmon Arm

Police report drivers survive crash late on Nov. 29, taken to hospital

Okanagan College students Michael Ochoa and Tallin Gregoire, both members of the Okanagan Indian Band, raised the Okanagan Nation Alliance flag on July 16, 2019,  outside the Vernon campus. (Karissa Gall photo)
First Nations reconciliation personified at Okanagan College

President Jim Hamilton’s foresight has opened post-secondary education doors for Okanagan College’s Indigenous students

“Am I racist?” signs like the one standing on the west end of Salmon Arm are part of an anti-racism campaign launched in November 2020 by B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner. Hate crimes have been rising in B.C., particularly during the pandemic. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
‘Am I racist?’ sign in Shuswap part of B.C. campaign to combat racism

As hate crimes rise, Office of Human Rights Commissioner would like citizens to examine inner biases

As of Nov. 30, online appointments for Interior Health’s blood lab at the top of Tank Hill will be done through the health authority’s new online booking tool www.labonlinebooking.ca/login. (File photo)
New system to launch for Salmon Arm lab services appointments

Interior Health transitioning to different online booking tool on Nov. 30

A bus shelter in White Rock is emblazoned with an ad from B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Black Press Media files)
VIDEO: ‘Am I racist?’ campaign asks British Columbians to confront their unconscious biases

Signs asking British Columbians to think about racial injustice have been put up across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

An impaired driver was found responsible for a crash on Highway 97 near Seacrest Hill in Oliver Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020 in Oliver. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired driver rolls vehicle in violent crash near Oliver

Vehicle crashed through a fence, tree and telephone line

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
Outbreak declared at Kelowna long-term care home

Two cases announced, including the first case of the virus among care home residents in Interior Health

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009. (RCMP photo)
Human remains found off U.S. coast in 2009 identified as Penticton man

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009

The missing snowmen were found down the road Monday after being removed from their rightful places Sunday, Nov. 29. (Contributed)
Missing snowmen go for an evening stroll in Okanagan

Large Mrs. Snowman cutout apparently went for a walk

Most Read