The provincial Animal Care Line: 204-945-8000 or an online intake form can be completed and emailed it to the Chief Veterinary Office dispatchers: email@example.com.
Within Winnipeg, contact the Winnipeg Humane Society: 204-982-2028.
Investigations and Enforcement
Manitoba’s public Chief Veterinary Office (CVO) oversees and funds animal protection and cruelty investigations. Different groups and individuals are employed as Animal Protection Officers (APOs) or contracted to undertake investigations. There are approximately 105 APOs in Manitoba although not all work predominantly on investigations.
The CVO directly employs APOs who are unionized with Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGGEU).
The Winnipeg Humane Society employs five (four full-time, one part-time) APOs for the city of Winnipeg External APOs. They are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. The WHS received around $12,000 from the CVO in the 2018/2019 fiscal year to conduct animal cruelty investigation work in Winnipeg. This does not cover all the costs and the charity still subsidizes cruelty investigations through fundraising and private donations.
There are also independent contractors who are appointed as APOs and undertake investigations in the province outside of Winnipeg.
APOs are responsible for investigating suspected cruelty on both companion and commercial animals. Civil servants are appointed by the Minister as officers to carry out enforcement of the Wildlife Act.
Police officers are also appointed as APOs under the Animal Care Act, but most investigations are undertaken by APOs contracted by the CVO.
Data supplied by Manitoba Agriculture
*The percentage may exceed 100% as multiple statuses may be associated with each case
**Number of cases may exceed total cases filed as multiple statuses may be associated with each case
Data supplied by the Winnipeg Humane Society
The most common animal welfare concerns (outlined by the Animal Care Act) inspected by APOs with the WHS are:
- [Act] 2 (1) (a): Failure to ensure an adequate source of food and water,
- [Act] 2 (1) (c): Failure to provide reasonable protection from harmful heat and cold,
- [Act] 2 (1) (d) (iii): Confinement of an animal to an enclosure without proper ventilation or lighting, and
- [Act] (3) (1): Inflicting acute suffering, serious injury or harm, or extreme distress on an animal that impairs its health or well-being.
The CVO has a Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. This government-run lab provides diagnostic services for all animals in the province. Private veterinarians as well companion animal and livestock owners can access these services (this includes preventative care as well as zoonotic control).
The CVO does post-mortem testing to identify the cause of death and/or harm in animal cruelty cases. These findings are important in the charging of animal cruelty.
Kevin Toyne – Civil Litigation lawyer at Hill Sokalski Walsh, Manitoba
Has practiced law in both Ontario and Manitoba for 15 years, including in the area of animal law.
Represented the high-profile case involving “Darwin the IKEA Monkey” before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Served as the Vice-Chair of the Animal Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association in 2014-2015.
Currently serving on the Board of Directors of Humane Canada and the Winnipeg Humane Society, and is also the Chair of the Winnipeg Humane Society’s Animal Protection Committee.
Has also presented at the National animal welfare conference.
Coulter, K and Campbell, B.
“Public Investment in Animal Protection Work: Data from Manitoba, Canada.”
Human-Animal Wellbeing and Supports
“One Health” is a sub-branch under the CVO’s Animal Health and Welfare Branch.
Under this sub-branch, in 2012, a One Health Steering Committee was established to connect different governmental departments/services who work on shared goals, particularly focusing on using a holistic approach to link and address animal, human, and environmental health. There is also a hoarding working group.
Manitoba veterinarian, Dr. Jonas Watson travels in and out of province to provide free veterinary care to areas where economic disparity causes people to struggle financially caring for their pets. Watson believes in the One Health approach for the sustainability of the veterinary field.