By Rosalind Russell – Sables-Spanish Rivers Township has deferred a request from the Manitoulin/North-Shore Federation of Agriculture to amend the animal control bylaw for the protection of dogs that are used to protect livestock.
The agency is asking the bylaw be amended to protect livestock protection dogs but that does not mean they get to run at large but rather be a deterrent against predators.
Charlie Smith, a local farmer, and director with the federation told council they believe the dogs should be registered as guardians to protect them when they are at work utilizing the animal registration system and should be owned by registered farmers.
He says training is vital but there must be more discussion how to mark them as protection dogs should be put in place as a requirement.
To that end, council deferred the amendment until they hold further discussions and get input from their local animal control bylaw officer.
Photo: Charlie Smith says he does not have all the answers in regards to identifying livestock protection dogs, but feel they should be protected under the animal control bylaw since they provide a vital service. Zoom photo by Rosalind Russell