Andrew Weaver, B.C. Green Party leader and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, tabled legislation last week that would ensure pet owners are held responsible for the actions of their animals.
“Thousands of people are bitten by dogs in B.C. each year,” Weaver says. “While provinces like Ontario and Manitoba have enacted legislation to ensure that public safety is put first, B.C. is falling behind. We need appropriate measures in place to hold the owners of dangerous pets to account.”
Weaver’s proposed Animal Liability Act, 2016 is modeled on Manitoba’s legislation. It would make owners directly liable for any damages caused by their pets but would not apply to damages caused by livestock.
“As it currently stands, when someone gets bitten by a dog the options available for legal recourse hinge on the dog having a previous history of violence. That’s simply not enough,” Weaver says. “This legislation does not affect the vast majority of caring, responsible pet owners. It targets negligent pet owners who are not appropriately socializing, training or restraining their animals in public places.”