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PAWS (Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act)
Legal Guide


Ch.7 - Animal Care Review Board

  1. Overview
  2. Appeals
    (a) Appealable Matters
    (b) Appeal and Board Hearing Procedures
    (c) Board Powers
    (d) Notice of Board Decision
    (e) Service of Documents


1. Overview

Under the old OSPCA Act there was an appeal tribunal, the Animal Care Review Board ('ACRB', or 'the Board'). The ACRB is continued in the PAWS Act [PAWS 37(1-3, 5), 70(4)]. It may sit with one or more members [PAWS 37(4)], and have employees [PAWS 37(6)].

It hears disputes of many of the situations that are dealt with in Ch.6, s.4 ["Distress Powers"], where an AWI gives notice to the owner/custodian of an animal of such actions as making orders, taking possession and euthanasia. It is the giving by the AWI of such a notice that triggers these appeal rights.

This is the ACRB website.


2. Appeals

(a) Appealable Matters

Owners/custodians of animals may appeal the following matters to the Board [PAWS 38(1-4)]:
  • Orders

    An order from an AWI, within five business days after receiving notice of it.

    An appeal of such an order does not stay it's operation [PAWS 38(13)].

  • Removals

    A decision by an animal welfare inspector to remove an animal from a place, within five business days after receiving notice of it.

  • CAWI Transfers

    A decision to take an animal into the CAWI’s care, within five business days after receiving notice of it.

  • Statements of Account

    Upon being served with a statement of account they may apply to the Board by notice in writing to appeal it within five days [PAWS 38(2), Reg 447/19, s.3].

  • Revocation of Order When Spent

    If they receive an AWI order they may apply to the Board by notice in writing to have the order revoked if the animal has ceased to be in distress [PAW 38(3)].

  • Return of Animal When CAWI Transfer Spent

    If an animal has been taken into the CAWI's care, they may apply to the Board by notice in writing to have the animal returned if the conditions that caused the animal to be kept in the CAWI’s care have ceased to exist [PAWS 38(4)].
(b) Appeal and Board Hearing Procedures

. Appeals

"A notice to the Board (ie. an 'appeal notice') must set out the remedy or action sought and the reasons for the appeal or application" [PAWS 38(5)].

Within five business days of receiving an appeal notice, the Board shall [PAWS 38(6)]:
  • fix a time, date and place at which the Board will hear the matter; and

  • notify the CAWI and the owner/custodian who filed the appeal notice of the time, date and place of the hearing [PAWS 38(6)].
The hearing shall be on an expedited basis, and the date fixed for hearing shall be within ten business days after receipt of the appeal notice [PAWS 38(7)].

Subject to the ACRB Rules of Practice, at a hearing, the CAWI and the owner/custodian are entitled to hear evidence, cross-examine, call witnesses, present arguments and be represented by persons authorized under Law Society By-Law 4, Part V, s.30 to represent them [PAWS 38(8)].

. ACRB Rules of Practice

These Rules are governed by the Statutory Powers Procedure Act (SPPA) [Administrative Law (SPPA) Legal Guide], and by additional provisions set out in PAWS 39. In the event of conflict with PAWS, the regulations and the ACRB Rules of Practice prevail over the SPPA [PAWS 40].

Failure to comply with these rules is not grounds for setting aside a Board decision on judicial review, unless the failure or the exercise of a discretion causes a substantial wrong which affects the final disposition of the matter [PAWS 39(6)].

(c) Board Powers

The Board may, after a hearing, do any of the following [PAWS 38(9)]:
  • Distress Orders

    Confirm, revoke or modify an order.

  • Return of Animal

    Order that an animal removed, or that was taken into the CAWI's care, be returned to the owner or custodian.

  • Statement of Account

    Confirm, revoke or vary a statement of account.

  • Costs Reimbursement to Owner/Custodian

    Order that the whole, or any part of the cost, to the owner/custodian of an animal of complying with an order be paid by the Minister to the owner or custodian.

  • Costs Reimbursement to CAWI

    Order that the whole or any part of the cost to the CAWI of providing necessaries to an animal pursuant to its removal or the determination to keep an animal in the CAWI's care be paid by the owner/custodian of the animal to the Minister of Finance.
The Board may make a removal order subject to compliance with a further order issued by the Board in the same terms as a distress order [Ch.6, s,4 "Distress Orders"], which shall be deemed to have been made as a distress order [PAWS 38(10)].

The Board may use any of these powers without a hearing if the parties (ie, the CAWI and the appellant) consent to it [PAWS 38(11)].

(d) Notice of Board Decision

The Board shall promptly serve notice of its decision together with written reasons on the CAWI and the owner/custodian of the animal [PAWS 38(12)].

(e) Service of Documents

Any order, notice or statement of account required or authorized to be served under this Act shall be served personally or by registered mail, courier, fax, electronic mail or other prescribed method in accordance with the regulations [PAWS 68].



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