Monday, October 6, 2014


Association Executive Summary 2014

This report provides you with an outline of the work carried out since our last Annual General Meeting of the membership. I wish to recognize the work carried out by our staff, Board and Committee members. Their involvement and dedication helped support the association’s position as a strong advocate for the Canadian pet industry.

Going forward
Our association is well on its way to meeting the objectives as outlined in our present Strategic Plan. Efforts will continue in the next Strategic Plan scheduled to start in January of 2015. New activities are being planned to support the association’s key strategic objectives. PIJAC Canada will continue to develop its social media presence, implement strategies that will bring more value to its members and play a leading role in helping create a more collaborative pet industry.   

During the past twelve months, PIJAC Canada focused its efforts in the following areas: Promoting the positive pet experience, advocacy and governance.

Promoting a Positive Pet Experience
PIJAC Canada has been co-chairing a working group to discuss ways we can work together at promoting the incredible experience linked to pet ownership. Everyone in our industry can benefit from this conversation. PIJAC Canada is leading the charge at identifying what constitutes a positive pet experience and equally what are the barriers to this experience. The matter will receive continued attention at the International Summit for Urban Animal Strategies this October.

At the international level – PIJAC Canada attended the 3rd annual Top 2 Top Conference in April. Hosted by PIJAC USA, it offered an opportunity for us to compare notes on issues we share with our American neighbors. Presentations of interest included a profile on the next generation of pet owners, effective lobbying actions, a new science-based best management practices for breeding kennel operations, effective media relations and a portrait of the US pet industry market.    

In May, PIJAC took part in an international meeting of pet industry associations while attending InterZoo in Germany, followed in June by our participation to a SBSTTA meeting, a working group reporting to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

PIJAC Canada, along with PIJAC USA and OATA (Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association), participated in this SBSTTA meeting in Montreal, to showcase what the pet industry is doing internationally to address the issue of alien invasive species. Continuing our efforts, we went ahead with the official launch of our updated website ( during our August and September trade shows.  

At the national level - PIJAC Canada maintained strong working ties with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in an attempt to keep our members aware of upcoming regulatory changes or government initiatives that could affect their business. Dossiers presently under scrutiny include possible changes to the government’s pet food import policy, funding opportunities for Canadian exporting companies and possible salmonella contamination from pet reptiles and feeder rodents.

PIJAC Canada works with the Public Health Agency of Canada at developing proper messaging to address the issue of recent cases of salmonellosis linked to pet reptiles and feeder rodents. Focus remains on promoting awareness to safe handling (hygiene) practices and making sure this information reaches target markets.     

PIJAC Canada applied the necessary changes to comply with the country’s new federal anti-spam legislation before it came into force in July 2014. We invested a significant amount of time and resources to ensure our association is in compliance with the new Act. PIJAC Canada has also taken on the task of informing our members, encouraging them to consult the legislation and determine if it affects their business.  

At the provincial level – in Quebec - The regulation amending the safety and welfare of dogs and cats regulation came into effect in late 2013. This amendment allows for the implementation of a permit system for certain types of pet establishments. This regulation outlines the specific criteria for the delivery of these permits. PIJAC Canada provided direction to its membership in route to the March 7th 2014 implementation date.

PIJAC Canada maintains its involvement with the provincial animal welfare group and sits on the provisional Board of the newly created Animal Welfare Foundation (Fondation BEA).

In Ontario - PIJAC Canada continues its efforts to contribute the Ontario’s exotic animal regulation review exercise. Our recent meeting with Minister Naqvi leads us to believe that movement on this issue is coming soon.

In Atlantic Canada – Government officials from all four Atlantic Provinces have called for a review of their exotic animal regulations. Work is soon to start on a provincial exercise in New Brunswick. PIJAC Continues to monitor the situation. We have requested to be included in the consultation process.

At the Municipal level – Since our last AGM report, we have seen a few municipalities adopt a bylaw aimed at severely restricting the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. Municipalities that went ahead with such bylaws were mostly the ones that had none of these establishments operating within their city limits.

Once made aware of a municipality’s intentions, PIJAC Canada contacts them and provides relevant information that supports our position on the issue at hand. PIJAC Canada offers help and support to its members through additional letter writing, consultation, coaching and communication. We rely heavily on our members to alert us to such actions in their city and offer our newly created Tool Kit as resource material for them to organize their actions locally. Work at the grass root level is essential in making decision makers aware of all the facts on this very important issue.

Several other municipalities are in the process of reviewing their own situations and deciding if such an orientation is warranted. PIJAC Canada and the OSPCA are collaborating on this issue, promoting a joint letter directed at municipalities and explaining to them why a sales ban approach fails to address the issue.   

During the past year we have been particularly busy on the development of Best Management Practices for pet retail operations. The document is under peer review and our objective remains a launch sometime in 2015.
PIJAC Canada is also making sure our operations, procedures, policies and position statements are compliant with our new General Administrative Bylaws. The first two bodies of work will consist in updating our electoral process for Board elections and reviewing rules of procedures for Divisions.
Special attention will also be given to the association’s staffing structure in an effort to meet the rapidly changing needs of our membership and improve efficiency .    

Louis McCann,
President and CEO

September 2014

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