The BC SPCA launched a new strategic plan in 2014. Unique to this plan is the notion of a humane community.
A humane community is one where all animals are accorded the Five Freedoms by those that provide guardianship over them. Considerations such as mandatory pet identification, youth and adult humane education programming, progressive animal control bylaws and enforcement, companion animal sterilization programs are all part of a humane community, as are activities such as off-leash areas, pet friendly rental accommodation, humane farming practices and wildlife preservation.
What is your vision for a humane community? Talk to a friend or share it on social media with the hashtag #myhumanecommunity!
The BC SPCA is taking a number of steps to promote humane communities:
Reach out to our bylaw team to let us know where you'd like to see changes. We can make some recommendations for your approach.
Expect that the process of bylaw changes can take up to 2 years. Working towards a humane community may be time intensive, yet the rewards for animals are worth the investment!
Want to learn more about what we mean by "humane community"?
Central to this notion is the idea that it is the community itself and not the local animal shelter or SPCA that creates the humane community. While the BC SPCA can and will play a key role in this endeavour, so do veterinarians, local government representatives and other animal organizations. Ultimately though, it is the citizens of the community who aspire to extend compassion and respect for animals who will bear ultimate responsibility for creating such a community.
As a leader in progressive animal welfare, we are committed to help inspire society to create humane communities by dramatically enhancing and expanding our own preventative initiatives in areas such as education, sterilization and advocacy. But, we are just as committed to empowering our staff, volunteers and supporters to also look outside their local shelter and into the community to find the long term solutions to animal welfare that will lead to the creation of humane communities.
This is a key time in our history. We call on all British Columbians to help us create a world in which all animals enjoy, as a minimum, the Five Freedoms.
In the last 8 years, the BC SPCA has seen a number of changes to municipal bylaws across the province. Municipalities include (beginning with most recent changes): Nanaimo, Esquimalt, Dawson Creek, Victoria, North Saanich, Sidney, Regional District of Central Okanagan, Surrey, Capital Regional District, Maple Ridge, Saanich, Pemberton, Delta, Coquitlam, New Westminster, District of North Vancouver, Courtenay, Richmond, Sechelt, Creston, and Kelowna.
The breadth of changes passed is broad and differs by community. We have seen mandatory spay/neuter, restrictions on sale of animals in pet stores, mandatory permanent identification, tethering restrictions, restrictions on the temperature in vehicles, restrictions around containment in the back of pick-up trucks, minimum animal care standards, mandatory cat registration, and additions regarding the regulation of farm and exotic animals.
With these and all other municipalities in B.C., we look forward to working towards bylaws that ensure every community is a humane community.