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If you suspect farm animal (Horse/Cow etc) Abuse/Neglect,                    Please notify: Animal Welfare 


The Department of Environment and Climate Change (ECC) is responsible for the Farm Animal Welfare Program. The program includes enforcing the farm animal welfare provisions of the Nova Scotia Animal Protection Act and sections of the Criminal Code of Canada.

If you witness a farm animal in distress, you can report the incident and animal welfare inspectors will respond.

Farm animals

The Animal Protection Act defines farm animals as:

  • cattle, horses, sheep, swine, poultry, yaks and goats,
  • game farm animals including cervids, wild boar, bison, buffalo, ratites, llamas and alpacas,
  • foxes, chinchilla, mink, rabbits and waterfowl raised for agricultural purposes, and
  • any animal designated as a farm animal by the Minister
    • On 8 June 2021, the Minister of Agriculture designated donkeys, mules and game fowl as farm animals.

Farm animal welfare inspectors

Farm animal welfare inspectors investigate reports of animals in distress throughout the province. An animal is in distress if it is:

  • in need of adequate care, food, water or shelter or in need of reasonable protection from heat or cold appropriate to the animal;
  • injured, sick, in pain or suffering undue hardship, anxiety, privation or neglect;
  • deprived of adequate ventilation, space, veterinary care or medical treatment;
  • abused;
  • subjected to cosmetic surgery as defined in Section 27;
  • kept in conditions that are unsanitary or unsafe so as to impair the animal’s health, safety or well-being;
  • kept in conditions that contravene the standards of care prescribed by the regulations;
  • subjected by any person to being trained for or engaged in animal fighting; or
  • subjected to circumstances prescribed by the regulations.


  • An animal is deemed to be in distress if it is abandoned by its custodian in a manner that is likely to cause distress.
  • “critical distress” means distress in an animal of such nature that immediate veterinary treatment cannot prolong the animal’s life; or prolonging the animal’s life would result in the animal suffering unduly.”


Reporting an animal in distress

Farm animal in distress

To report a farm animal in distress, you can call or email.

Phone: 902-956-1165

Email: (monitored from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm)

If an animal is in critical distress after office hours, contact RCMP or municipal police for assistance.

Before you start

When you report an incident, you’ll need to provide:

  • your name and contact details
  • date and time of the distress
  • nature and severity of the distress
  • location of the distress (civic address is preferred)
  • number and species of animals involved
  • when known, the owner of the animals in distress


Names provided to the department are kept confidential and would only be disclosed if required by the courts. Though anonymous complaints are accepted, it may limit the actions that an Inspector can take.

Pets in distress

To report a companion animal (pet) in distress, contact the Nova Scotia SPCA at 1-888-703-7722 or use their complaint form.

Wildlife and Fish emergencies

To report a wildlife or fish emergency, contact a conservation officer at 1-800-565-2224 or use their complaint form.

Codes of Practice

Farm Animal Welfare Inspectors use the National Farm Animal Care Council  (NFACC) codes of practice as part of their assessments of farm animal welfare.
It is recommended that owners and caregivers review the applicable NFACC codes of practice for the species in their care.

These codes are written with farming in mind, but there is also valuable advice for those who have farm animals as pets.


Personally speaking I always contact the local RCMP as well, and if I am emailing a concern I copy the Minister, Honorable Keith Colwell, at

Department of Agriculture
6th floor (Suite 605), WTCC
1800 Argyle Street
P.O. Box 2223
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 3C4Phone: (902) 424-4388 
Fax: (902) 424-0699


Please be sure to have details, and when possible PICTURES and VIDEO.





If you suspect Animal (dog or cat) Abuse/Neglect,  Please notify the SPCA:

Nova Scotia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals


Toll Free Cruelty Line:1-888-703-7722
Fax: 902-835-7885


Animal Services Halifax Area

Contact Animal Services

  • by phone at 311 or 1.800.835.6428 (Toll free in Nova Scotia Only)
  • by fax at 902.490.6142
  • by mail at:
    Municipal Animal Services
    P.O. Box 1749
    Halifax, NS B3J 3A5





 I H E R C Animal Rescue & Sanctuary

is a Registered Charity 

IHERC is a non-profit/registered charity  farm located in Chester Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada. IHERC concentrates its time on helping the sick, the old and unwanted.


IHERC accepts dogs, cats and horses in need who are suffering on the streets, in shelters and in homes/barns that people can no longer care for. I understand unforeseen circumstances can happen to the best of people.  I care for the cats and dogs in my home, cage free, provide shelter, love, nutrients, my goal is to place them into loving caring homes. If you are lucky enough to acquire one of our rescue pets, note there is a contract that must be signed, and it does state if you can no longer care for said pet, the animal comes back to IHERC. Note: Those  animals that are senior or sick will stay at IHERC until death does us part. I do my best in matching humans with dogs, cats and horses. My goal is to match people and animals in unions that suite family, lifestyles, hearts and to educate people on the importance of companion animals in our society and to stop the recurring cycle of animal neglect and abuse. 


One must realize the cheapest part of having an animal is buying the animal… you must think long term.. ie: vaccines, spaying, food, medical emergencies, and time.  


1.   Freedom from hunger and thirst
2.  Freedom from discomfort 
3.  Freedom from Pain, injury and disease
4.  Freedom to express normal behavior
5.  Freedom from fear and distress


Have you found or lost a dog?

If so, Please contact Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network.    (or)

email them at