11/20/2012 05:34 EST | Updated 01/20/2013 05:12 EST

N.B. government introduces new pet policy for people in public housing

FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government has introduced a new policy on pet ownership in public housing, months after a public backlash over attempts to rid the units of animals.

The government said Tuesday that the policy is meant to ensure responsible pet ownership, protect residents from dangerous pets and respect the medical benefits a family pet may bring.

Social Development Minister Madeleine Dube says the policy lays out the rules public housing tenants must follow if they want a pet.

It states that tenants can have just one pet per unit, pets have to be on a leash outside and tenants are liable for any damage or injury caused by their pet.

Tenants in New Brunswick Housing units also have to get approval from the department to have a pet.

In February, the minister suspended her department's no-pet policy for residents of some subsidized housing units.