Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan (APSS) is investigating allegations of cattle in distress from the Love, Sask. area.
APSS executive director Don Ferguson confirmed in an email on April 29 that an investigation is ongoing.
On April 2, Animal Protection Officers executed a search warrant on a rural property near Love. According to APSS, cattle on the property were found to be in distress as defined in the Animal Protection Act. A total of 107 cattle were seized and taken into protective custody.
Charges have not been laid at this time. Love is located off of Hwy. 55, about 110 km northeast of Prince Albert, between Choiceland and Nipawin.
According to the Animal Protection At, an animal is in distress if it is:
- deprived of food or water sufficient to maintain the animal in a state of good health;
- deprived of care or shelter;
- deprived of veterinary care or medical attention;
- in need of reasonable protection from injurious heat or cold;
- wounded, ill, in pain, suffering, abused or neglected;
- kept in conditions that: are unsanitary; will significantly impair the animal’s health or well being over time; cause the animal anxiety or suffering; or contravene the prescribed standards, codes of practice or guidelines;
- abandoned by its owner or by a person responsible for the animal in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause, distress resulting from any or all the factors listed
Possible penalties include fines of up to $25,000, imprisonment for up to two years and a prohibition or restriction on owning animals for a certain period.
A 2019 case in Hudson Bay saw cattle deprived of sufficient food and water, resulting in a $1,000 fine and a prohibition from possessing or having custody of animals for ten years. A 2017 case from Porcupine Plain saw a conviction for lame cattle not being provided adequate medical conditions. That case ended in a ten-year cattle ownership prohibition and a $7,000 fine.
According to the APSS website, signs of neglect can include thin animals, animals without access to proper food, water or shelter, injuries or illnesses that are not treated, matted coats, overgrown hooves and unsanitary conditions or deliberately abandoned animals.
APSS says that animal cruelty investigations result in charges about two to three per cent of the time. Complaints are received and then an investigation is begun. Anonymous complaints are not accepted. The majority of cases are resolved through requirements for changes and follow-up, APSS says. Seizing animals is a last resort, APSS says, happening in about three per cent of cases. If animals are seized, charges are usually laid.