Pet stores to sell only fixed cats

It's official: cats will have to be fixed before being sold in Burnaby.

City council approved the bylaw change Monday. Now cats must be fixed before sale or customers must prepay for the procedure in advance.

Coun. Sav Dhaliwal voted in favour of the move Monday but doesn't think it solves the larger issue of owners abandoning their pets.

It will help deal with the overpopulation of feral cats. But "an outright ban of animal pet sales is the best answer to stop both the cruelty to animals as well as problems faced when the animals are let go," Dhaliwal said.

Local animal advocates had called for a ban on live animal sales in pet stores. They believe that's the best way to deal with unscrupulous multinational breeders focused more on profit than the care of their animals.

Mayor Derek Corrigan said it turns out that international trade agreements affect even pet store regulations.

Burnaby considered forcing pet stores to sell only animals born and raised in B.C. But its legal advisors warned that would violate such trade agreements.

"This is the kind of chilling effect it has on local governments day to day … when all you're trying to do is govern more effectively and answer the wishes of citizens in your own community."

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