04/24/2016 19:11 EDT | Updated 04/25/2017 01:12 EDT

B.C. adopts codes of practice for dog and cat breeders in wake of abuse cases

VICTORIA — British Columbia has adopted codes of practice for commercial breeders of dogs and cats, as the province moves towards regulating the unlicensed and controversial industry.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick announced Sunday that the province had passed an order-in-council to add a new regulation to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The regulation recognizes the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association's codes of practice for kennels and catteries as generally-accepted practices for commercial dog and cat breeders and boarders.

The codes of practice outline expecatations for humane housing and accommodation, care and supervision and behavioural needs of cats and dogs.

B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals chief executive officer Craig Daniell says the new regulation lays important groundwork for establishing a licensing and inspection program.

The government is now consulting with kennels and catteries about possible licence or registration requirements, and says other action may include proactive monitoring and enforcement.

The Canadian Press