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Second Session, Thirty-Ninth Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 237

THE PET CEMETERIES AND CREMATORIUMS ACT


Table of Contents Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1(1)        The following definitions apply in this Act.

"communal burial" means the interment of pet remains communally in a grave containing the remains of more than one pet. (« inhumation commune »)

"communal cremation" means the cremation of pets communally in a receptacle containing more than one pet. (« incinération commune »)

"entombment" means the placing of a pet's remains in a tomb. (« enterrement »)

"individual burial" means the interment of a single pet's remains in a separate grave. (« inhumation individuelle »)

"individual cremation" means the cremation of a single pet's remains in a separate receptacle that keeps the pet's cremains separate from the cremains of other pets. (« incinération individuelle »)

"inurnment" means the placement of pet cremains in a grave, urn or tomb. (« mise en urne »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"person" means

(a) an individual;

(b) a corporation or other body corporate;

(c) a partnership, limited partnership or limited liability partnership;

(d) an unincorporated association of persons; or

(e) a trustee or legal representative. (« personne »)

"pet" means a domestic animal, not including livestock, that has been adapted or tamed to live in intimate association with people, and includes, but is not limited to, a dog, cat, rabbit, rodent, fish, bird, snake, turtle or lizard. (« animal de compagnie »)

"pet cemetery" means any land, place, structure, facility or building provided by a person for a fee, whether or not for profit, to veterinarians or members of the general public for use for the permanent interment or inurnment above or below ground of pet remains. (« cimetière pour animaux de compagnie »)

"pet crematorium" means any land, place, structure, facility or building provided by a person for a fee, whether or not for profit, to veterinarians or members of the general public for the cremation of pets. (« crématorium pour animaux de compagnie »)

"pet owner" means the person who is listed as the owner of a pet in veterinary, pet cemetery or pet crematorium records, or his or her agent or employee.  If such a pet owner is a child, then a parent or legal guardian is deemed to be the pet owner for the purposes of this Act. (« propriétaire d'un animal de compagnie »)

"remains" includes, unless the context otherwise requires, cremains. (« restes »)

"veterinarian" means a person who holds a valid and subsisting certificate of registration under The Veterinary Medical Act. (« vétérinaire »)

Reference to "Act" includes regulations

1(2)        A reference to "this Act" includes the regulations made under this Act.

PET DISPOSAL FORMS

Pet disposal documents must be given

2(1)        A veterinarian, pet cemetery owner or pet crematorium owner who receives a pet for disposal must give the pet owner

(a) a pet disposal information document, which must contain the information set out in subsection (2) and be in the form prescribed by regulation; and

(b) a pet disposal form, which must contain the information and be in the form prescribed by regulation.

Contents of pet disposal information document

2(2)        A pet disposal information document must set out

(a) the alternative methods of pet disposal;

(b) the actual or estimated cost of each method of pet disposal;

(c) how or where each method of pet disposal would be carried out; and

(d) any other information prescribed by regulation.

Completion of pet disposal form

3(1)        After the pet owner completes, signs and dates the pet disposal form, he or she must give the veterinarian, pet cemetery owner or pet crematorium owner, as the case may be, a copy of the form.

Form does not authorize killing of pet

3(2)        For greater certainty, a completed pet disposal form contains instructions about the disposal of a pet's remains, and does not authorize the killing of the pet.

Veterinarian, etc., may complete pet disposal form

3(3)        A veterinarian, pet cemetery owner or pet crematorium owner may complete a pet disposal form with the oral consent of the pet owner.  This oral consent must be witnessed, and a record of the consent and the completed pet disposal form must be retained in the records of the veterinarian, pet cemetery owner or pet crematorium owner, as the case may be.

Pet owner unwilling or unable to complete form

3(4)        If a pet owner is unwilling or unable to complete a pet disposal form, a veterinarian may complete the pet disposal form after making at least two attempts to contact the pet owner.  At least one of these attempts must be made in writing and sent by regular mail to the last known address of the pet owner.  If the veterinarian completes the pet disposal form without the consent of the owner, a copy of the completed pet disposal form must be retained in the veterinarian's records along with records of the attempts to contact the pet owner.

Pet disposal documents not required

4           Despite sections 2 and 3, the documents described in subsection 2(1) need not be given if

(a) the pet's owner cannot be identified;

(b) the pet remains are received from a municipality; or

(c) the pet is to be disposed of without charge to the pet owner.

DISPOSAL IN COMPLIANCE WITH PET DISPOSAL FORM

Disposal of pet remains

5           The owner of a pet cemetery or pet crematorium must dispose of a pet in compliance with the pet disposal form completed by the pet's owner or a veterinarian.

Disposal by individual burial or cremation

6           If a pet is disposed of by individual burial or individual cremation, the owner of a pet cemetery or pet crematorium, as the case may be, must, within 10 days after the disposal, give to the pet owner or veterinarian, in accordance with instructions on the pet disposal form, written confirmation of the disposal, including

(a) confirmation of the method of disposal;

(b) the date of disposal;

(c) a full and clear description of where the pet's remains are located.

Disposal by communal burial or cremation

7           If a pet is disposed of by communal burial or communal cremation, the pet cemetery owner or pet crematorium owner, as the case may be, must make and keep records of the information specified in clauses 6(a) to (c).

Depth of burial

8           Subject to the regulations, an owner or operator of a pet cemetery must not bury pet remains less than one foot (0.3 m) below the surface of the ground.

OTHER DUTIES OF PET CEMETERIES AND PET CREMATORIUMS

Records for individual burials

9           The owner or operator of each pet cemetery or pet crematorium must, for each individual burial, make and keep permanently records of

(a) the specific site of the pet grave, including a map or maps showing the specific site;

(b) the date of burial;

(c) the size of the pet grave;

(d) the contract for sale of the pet grave; and

(e) the completed pet disposal form.

Financial responsibility

10(1)       Subject to subsection (2), the owner or operator of a pet cemetery or pet crematorium must provide evidence of financial responsibility to the minister, in the form of liability insurance, a bond or other form as may be satisfactory to the minister.

Regulations may specify form and amount

10(2)       The liability insurance, bond or other evidence of financial responsibility must be in the form, and in the amount, as may be specified by the regulations.

Hours of operation

11          The owner or operator of a pet cemetery must provide notice to customers about hours that the cemetery will be open to customers to view graves.

MAINTENANCE FEES AND CONTRACTS FOR CARE OF THE CEMETERY

Maintenance endowment fees

12          The owner of a pet cemetery may charge a permanent maintenance endowment fee for the care of the cemetery, which if charged, must be placed by the pet cemetery owner into an endowment care trust fund or similar trust fund for the permanent maintenance of the pet cemetery.

Law applicable

13          In addition to the powers, rights and obligations created by this Act, the provisions of the general law, either statutory or otherwise, apply to an owner or trust company with respect to any maintenance endowment funds held, to the same extent that they are applicable to a trustee holding funds or property for charitable purposes.

Contract for maintenance of the pet cemetery

14(1)       In lieu of a permanent maintenance endowment fee, the owner of a pet cemetery and a pet owner may enter into a contract on an annual basis for maintenance of the pet cemetery.

Prepaying annual maintenance fees

14(2)       Nothing in this section prevents a pet owner from prepaying annual maintenance fees for any number of years in advance.

Records

15          The owner or operator of a pet cemetery must make and maintain records of all permanent maintenance endowment fees and annual maintenance fees that it receives, in the manner specified by the regulations.

SITING OF PET CEMETERIES

Minimum area of property

16(1)       No person shall, after the day this section comes into force, establish a pet cemetery on a site  consisting of less than five contiguous acres (2.02 ha) of real property in total area.

Minister may waive minimum area

16(2)       The minister may, on application, waive the minimum area requirement set out in subsection (1) if the minister believes it to be in public interest, based on any factors the minister considers relevant, which may include

(a) the number of above-ground entombments anticipated;

(b) the number of remains to be buried; and

(c) the nature of the surrounding community.

Municipal law

16(3)       Nothing in this section restricts a municipality from enacting a by-law that provides for an area requirement greater than that set out in subsection (1), or that sets out additional siting requirements.

SITING OF PET CREMATORIUMS

Pet crematoriums authorized

17(1)       Subject to subsection (2) and the regulations, and subject to

(a) zoning by-laws under The Planning Act;

(b) municipal by-laws; and

(c) municipal or other building restrictions in force in a municipality;

a pet crematorium may be constructed and operated in a pet cemetery or elsewhere in a municipality.

Buffer from residences required

17(2)       No person shall, after the day this section comes into force, establish a pet crematorium within 200 yards (182.8 m) of a residence, except with the written consent of

(a) the owner of the residence; and

(b) if the residence is leased, the tenant.

NOTICE IN LAND TITLES OFFICE

Notice of establishment of a pet cemetery

18          Upon the establishment of a pet cemetery, the owner must, where the site includes or forms part of specific land described in a certificate of title under The Real Property Act or in an abstract book under The Registry Act, cause a notice of the establishment of the pet cemetery to be filed in respect of the specific land in the proper land titles office or registry office.

OFFENCES

Offence

19(1)       A person who contravenes this Act is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction,

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $20,000, or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both; and

(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $50,000.

Prosecution within two years

19(2)       A prosecution under this Act may not be commenced later than two years after the day the alleged offence was committed.

Directors and officers of corporations

19(3)       When a corporation is guilty of an offence, a director or officer of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the offence is also guilty of the offence and is liable on summary conviction to the penalty for the offence provided for in this section.

REGULATIONS

Regulations

20(1)       The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) governing the application of any provision of this Act to any person, including a not-for-profit corporation that is a humane society;

(b) prescribing the form, and information to be contained in, a pet disposal information document or a pet disposal form;

(c) respecting the handling of pet remains before burial or cremation;

(d) respecting the method of burial of pet remains;

(e) respecting the siting, construction or operation of pet crematoriums;

(f) specifying the form and amount of liability insurance, bond or other evidence of financial responsibility that the owner or operator of a pet cemetery or pet crematorium must obtain and maintain;

(g) respecting the collecting, holding, depositing and use of annual maintenance fees for pet cemeteries;

(h) respecting the establishment of an endowment care trust fund or similar trust fund for the permanent maintenance of a pet cemetery;

(i) respecting the collection, holding, depositing and use of maintenance endowment fees, including powers and responsibilities of the trustee, subject to The Trustee Act and other applicable law;

(j) governing the making and maintenance of records under the Act, and prescribing the length of time records must be kept;

(k) respecting the manner of giving or serving documents under this Act;

(l) defining any word or phrase used but not defined in this Act;

(m) respecting any other matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.

Adopting codes and standards

20(2)       A regulation may adopt by reference, in whole or in part, any code or standard, and may adopt it as amended from time to time, and subject to any changes that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary.

Regulation may apply to part of province, classes of persons, cemeteries or crematoriums

20(3)       A regulation may be general or particular in its application and may apply to one or more classes of persons, pet cemeteries or pet crematoriums, and to the whole or any part of the province.

C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

C.C.S.M. reference

21          This Act may be referred to as chapter P45 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

22          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill establishes obligations and operating procedures in relation to pet cemeteries and pet crematoriums in Manitoba.  Among other things, it sets out:

  • the use of standard forms to provide customer information, and on which pet owners may select which services to purchase;
  • operating and siting requirements for pet cemeteries and crematoriums;
  • record-keeping requirements for pet cemeteries and pet crematoriums, including detailed records of how each pet was disposed of and where its remains are located; and
  • requirements for owners of pet cemeteries and crematoriums to provide evidence of financial responsibility.