An 1885 law governing livestock running free in the community has been merged with contemporary laws governing animals in the community to create what the MCK’s Public Safety Operations manager called a comprehensive new law.

The Kahnawake Pigs at Large Law, was first enacted on June 10, 1885, and concerned pigs running at large because at the time, most of the animals being kept in the community were livestock of one form or another, Public Safety Operations manager Robyn Montour said.

It has been repealed, and elements of the law have been merged into the new Kahnawake Animal Control Law.

“Back then, many community members kept livestock, and at the time, pigs were sort of getting all over, running loose and it was a problem,” Montour said. “The law was enacted to make sure livestock was contained.”

Now, that law applies to animals all across the community, Montour said – to dogs, other pets and any form of livestock that might pose a public-safety concern.

“We want people to control their animals,” Montour said. “Now, the law applies to livestock and to pets.”

The Pigs at Large Law also established the animal pound and created ‘poundkeepers,’ a precursor to animal-control officers now in charge of enforcing animal-control bylaws, Montour said. 

“We still call it ‘the pound’ she said, but it’s really the Animal Control office,” she said.

The 2024 Kahnawake Animal Control Bylaw also replaces the 2002 version of the same law, harmonizing the aspects of the old law and the Pigs at Large Law, Montour said.

“The new law is much more encompassing,” she said. “We have put all the laws together into one law and it’ll make life a little easier for our animal-control officers. The 2024 law is much more comprehensive and includes the feedback that we received from the community. The main focus was to ensure that there was better enforcement of the law, and a wider range of enforceability for the animal control officers.”

The law is enforceable by both animal-control officers and Peacekeepers.

Montour encouraged pet owners in the community to consult the new, updated animal-control law and keep themselves up to date on changes.

“Community members should familiarize themselves with the updated Animal Control Law,” Montour said. “It is important to always have care and control of your animals. More information of specifics of the law can be found at kahnawakemakingdecisions.com.”

Montour said pet ownership is a privilege and that it requires a great deal of responsibility – and that’s made clear in the new law, she said.

“This law is important because it ensures that animals are controlled and regulated in a responsible manner to preserve the health and safety of the public,” she said. “It also ensures that all animals are kept safe and free from neglect and are taken care of through responsible pet ownership.”

By Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 27, 2024 at 06:46

This item reprinted with permission from   lori:wase   Kahnawake, Quebec
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