Council adopts Animal Responsibility Bylaw

On September 21, 2021, Nanaimo City Council adopted the Animal Responsibility Bylaw. Council was able to take this step after receiving approval from the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development regarding the bylaw.

The Animal Responsibility Bylaw, which takes effect immediately, is a result of a fulsome review of the City's Animal Control function that recommended an update to the bylaw to reflect current best practices for animal care standards. Some of the new provisions include:

  • removing reference to “Restricted Dogs” since it is no longer best practice (and not practicable) to target;
  • changing “Vicious Dog” to “Aggressive Dog”;
  • modernizing sections to reflect current best practises on standards of care;
  • implementing mandatory identification for cats;
  • requiring mandatory sterilization for outdoor cats; and
  • prohibiting cats from running at large in a public place or another persons’ property without their permission.

For more information and to view the bylaw, the “Promise to Return” policy and a Fast Facts Brochure, please visit

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