The Animal Protection Act, 2018

The Government of Saskatchewan has updated animal welfare laws for the province. 

The Animal Protection Act, 2018 protects animals from distress, stating an animal is in distress if it is: 

(a) deprived of: 

    (i) food or water sufficient to maintain the animal in a state of good health;
    (ii) care or shelter; or
    (iii) veterinary care or medical attention; 

(b) in need of reasonable protection from injurious heat or cold;  

(c) wounded, ill, in pain, suffering, abused or neglected;  

(d) kept in conditions that: 

    (i) are unsanitary;
    (ii) will significantly impair the animal’s health or well-being over time;
    (iii) cause the animal extreme anxiety or suffering; or
    (iv) contravene the prescribed standards, codes of practice or guidelines; 


(e) abandoned by its owner or by a person responsible for the animal in a manner that causes, or is likely to cause, distress resulting from any or all of the factors listed in this section. 

The Animal Protection Act, 2018 excludes generally accepted management practices, which are listed in the The Animal Protection Regulations, 2018. (These regulations also include information about the powers and responsibilities of Animal Protection Officers in dealing with animals in distress.) 

According to The Animal Protection Act, 2018:  

4 (1) No person shall cause an animal to be in distress. 

4 (2) No person responsible for an animal shall cause or permit the animal to be or to continue to be in distress. 

4 (3) This section does not apply if the distress results from an activity carried on in accordance with the regulations or in accordance with reasonable and generally accepted practices of animal care, management, husbandry, hunting, fishing, trapping, pest control or slaughter 

Penalties for violations of The Animal Protection Act, 2018 are punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. 

The Animal Protection Act, 2018 is enforced by Animal Protection Officers who work for an animal protection agency. Members of a municipal police service or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are also recognized under the Act as “animal protection officers.”

Criminal Code of Canada

Some animal cruelty offenses may be prosecuted under the Criminal Code. This federal law prohibits cruelty to animals that is willful or without lawful excuse. To review the full text of the Criminal Code, click here.

The maximum fine under federal law is $2000.00, maximum prison sentence of six months, maximum prohibition on owning animals is two years. 

The Stray Animals Act (Saskatchewan) 

An Act respecting the Restraining of Animals from Running at Large Click here to download The Stray Animals Act.

Stray Animals Guide

The Stray Animals Act (the Act) and The Stray Animals Regulations, 1999 (the Regulations) falls under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Government Relations provides some support to municipal officials concerning this legislation.

There is a need to adequately deal with strays, provide for compensation for damage done by a stray, and to recover the total cost of impounding and caring for a stray by municipalities. This guide, published May 2018, is intended to provide municipalities with information on the above concern. 

Click here to download the Stray Animals Guide. 

Animal Control


Municipalities have discretionary authority to address animal control within the municipality. For example, municipalities may pass bylaws or adopt procedures to deal with licensing and regulating animals such as cats and dogs. Municipalities may develop procedures to deal with complaints about dangerous animals. Municipalities have the ability to create areas within a municipality where livestock is permitted to run at large. 

Municipalities may choose to not address any or all of the above matters. Concerns about municipal bylaws, policies, or procedures or the absence of them can only be addressed by your municipal council. 

NOTE: This information is not a substitute for legislation dealing with animal control. It is advisable to consult a solicitor on more complex situations. 

Click here to learn more.