Vancouver bans pet stores from selling cats, dogs, and bunnies

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      Animal lovers have a victory to celebrate. Pet stores in the city of Vancouver are no longer allowed to sell puppies, kittens, or bunnies that come from for-profit breeders.

      Council made the ban official yesterday (December 13) with a vote that was unanimous.

      “Concerns were voiced from the public and key stakeholders, including the BCSPCA, that pet stores may source cats, dogs and rabbits from disreputable breeders, enable impulse purchasing, and contribute to the animal overpopulation problem,” reads a city staff report.

      It states those concerns led councillors to pass a motion last June that asked staff to report back on what needed to happen to stop pet shops from selling cats and dogs that came  from so-called puppy mills or kitten mills. Staff did and prepared recommendations for changes to city bylaws. Then, yesterday, councillors voted to put those recommended changes into effect.

      Because the changes would result in a prohibition of a business or trade, they required all 10 councillors plus the mayor to vote unanimously in their favour (as per the Vancouver Charter). So even one dissenting voice would have allowed pet stores to continue with the status quo. But yesterday the vote was unanimous.

      According to the city staff report, there was only one pet store left in the city of Vancouver that was still selling cats, dogs, and rabbits that were bred for consumers. But there are another 12 shops that sell other types of animals (such as fish and hamsters). Now none of them have the option of selling the furry mammals in question.

      Stores are still allowed to display cats and dogs that they obtained from a “recognized animal rescue society or shelter organization” and offer them for adoption.

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