(Montreal) The Parti Québécois (PQ) is proposing to create a government agency that would be responsible for animal welfare in Quebec.

Currently, this issue is covered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ).

However, according to PQ MP Pascal Bérubé, there is a possible presence of conflicts of interest, since the department deals with both agri-food policies and the welfare of farmed animals.

For the deputy, it is also problematic that the monitoring of the treatment of pets is carried out most of the time by non-profit organizations (NPOs)

Mr. Bérubé would thus like to establish an independent agency, which would report to the Ministry of Justice.

This new organization would have investigative powers and could follow up on cases of animal cruelty.

“It is inconceivable that we put on the backs of NPOs with limited means the responsibility of ensuring the protection of animals, especially in terms of investigation”, deplores the deputy in a press release.

“This agency will give importance and a concrete character to the principles of protection and good treatment of animals, already recognized by the Government of Quebec for nearly a decade via the Civil Code and the Act respecting the well-being and animal safety. »

Currently, MAPAQ conducts inspections following animal welfare complaints. Offenders can be fined up to $250,000 or jailed for up to 18 months for repeat offences.

In 2015, the Couillard government passed a law redefining animals as “sentient beings with biological imperatives.” Pet owners are therefore required to meet their basic needs.