North Cowichan Adopts Animal Responsibility Bylaw that Emphasizes Humane Care

(North Cowichan) – North Cowichan Council has adopted a new Animal Responsibility Bylaw that heralds a new, more humane era for animal care in the community. The bylaw was developed with input from the BC SPCA, Coastal Animal Services, Cowichan Cat Rescue, and United for a Paws.

The new Animal Responsibility Bylaw replaces the Animal Control Bylaw, which has not seen any significant updates for over 20 years. Notable changes in the new bylaw include: 

  • A limit on the number of companion animals that can be kept on the same property to address concerns about hoarding of animals;
  • A section on animal welfare, relating to: animal cruelty, basic animal care requirements, outdoor shelter requirements, sanitation requirements, tying of animals, and transporting animals in motor vehicles;
  • Requirements for owners of aggressive dogs;
  • Guidelines for animals in public places;
  • A section on identification of cats to assist in returning lost animals to their owners; and
  • Prohibitions on feeding wildlife.

“The new Animal Responsibility Bylaw is a step forward for the well-being of animals in our communities,” says Mayor Al Siebring. “This bylaw makes the responsibilities of pet owners more clear and provides better mechanisms for addressing harmful behaviour.”

The new bylaw takes effect immediately. A summary of the Animal Responsibility Bylaw is available on the North Cowichan website: Animal Responsibility, and the full bylaw will be posted here within a few days: Bylaws.


For more information, please contact:
Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan
T 250.710.3416