Making animal welfare an Ontario election issue
Animals can’t vote or lobby their government representatives, but you can. This election, find out where candidates and their party stand on captive wildlife issues in Ontario.
In April 2022, World Animal Protection sent a survey to Ontario’s four main political parties about captive wildlife issues in the province.
Read the party responses and their platform commitments to see where they stand on issues such as roadside zoos and exotic pets. When candidates come to your door, make sure you ask them how they will help prioritize these issues.
How did the parties respond to our survey?
- Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
- Green Party of Ontario
- Liberal Party of Ontario
- New Democratic Party of Ontario
View the survey we sent to parties.
View our proposal that was sent to the four main political parties and many of their candidates. Our proposal highlights the problem and solutions that Ontarians support.
Did the party commit to making animal welfare an issue in their platform?
- Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario: No, view Party Platform.
- Green Party of Ontario: Yes, view Party Platform (Page 55)
- Liberal Party of Ontario: Yes, view Party Platform (Page 61)
- New Democratic Party of Ontario: No, view Party Platform
Is animal welfare an important issue to Ontarians?
A 2022 Nanos poll commissioned by World Animal Protection found that a majority of Ontarians would like to see the Province take action on captive wildlife issues.
Animal health and welfare, protecting the local environment and public health and safety are the main reasons people want to see the trade in wild exotic animals be regulated.
- 88% of Ontarians support having provincial regulations that would require all zoos to have a license and meet animal welfare and public safety standards.
- 83% of Ontarians support having provincial regulations to restrict the trade of exotic wild animals kept as pets which can pose a danger to human health.
- 72% of Ontarians support provincial regulations that would prohibit zoos and mobile zoos from offering close interactions with wild animals if those activities pose a public health or safety risk to people or animals.
- 73% of Ontarians oppose or somewhat oppose their neighbour being allowed to own an exotic wild animal as a pet (e.g. parrots, snakes, wild cats).
Frequently Asked Questions
We support policies that help improve animal welfare and will gladly work with all parties in the mission to give all animals in Ontario a life worth living.
Ontario currently has no meaningful captive wildlife regulations to restrict the trade, breeding, keeping and use of exotic wild animals in zoos, for entertainment or as pets. The lack of legislation results in animal suffering, dangerous public health and safety situations and can pose a threat to Ontario’s wildlife and environment.
Appropriate regulations are required to ensure that animals are only kept in captive conditions when it is in their best interest or of conservation benefit. It must be humane and safe for animals, communities and the environment.
Engage your candidates! Candidates want to hear from their constituent, from the people they represent. You can help by educating your candidate.
The best way to engage your candidate is by reaching out to them personally and asking to meet with them or to speak with them on the phone. And since there is an upcoming election, you should also reach out to the other candidates running to be your candidate. You can speak with them when they knock at your door or when you see them at community events or all-candidates debates.
See our toolkit for tips and issues to talk about for the 2022 Ontario election.