Module 1

Module 1 of the Kennel Training Certificate Program provides an overview of the types of legislation and codes of practice related to animal care in Manitoba. It also highlights important legal definitions that kennel operators need to understand and follow.   





A bill becomes a law (act) (piece of legislation) once it has passed and receives royal assent from the legislature. 

Regulations are the "rules" incorporated in an act that contain legal obligations.

Codes are considered the guidelines which do not have any legal binding unless included within or referred by regulations.

In Manitoba the applicable legislation include:

The objective of the animal care legislation is to protect the welfare of domesticated animals in Manitoba, and enforce compliance of an acceptable standard for their care. 

These standards of care apply to:

  • providing animals with adequate food, water, shelter, exercise and medical attention
  • keeping animals in areas that are uncrowded, sanitary, have adequate lighting, and are well ventilated
  • avoiding infliction of emotional or physical suffering, injury, harm, anxiety or distress 

Note that you do not need to memorize the legislation in order to complete the quiz, but rather understand them and familiarize yourself with the definitions and concepts found below. 




Shall, Must

There is often confusion around the use of “shall” as to the obligation of the animal owner etc. Section 2(1) of Regulation 126/98 incorporates the Codes of Practice and other standards in legislation making them law. Therefore, when you see “shall” in the act it means that a person must do it in order to prevent an offence from being committed. 

Example: Shall = Must.

In the Kennel Code of Practice, the requirement for water is that "snow" is not a primary source of water. What this means is that no one should be using snow as a source of hydration and that potable unfrozen water must be available both inside and outside. Failure to provide proper drinking water is against the law. For example: charges may be laid if you only give your dog snow instead of water to maintain hydration.


Regardless if the animals are of the same species or a combination of species, e.g., three cats and four dogs, the act provides a definition of "animal" as a non-human living being with a developed nervous system: dog, cat, livestock, wildlife, fish, raccoons, etc. 

Kennel Premises
A kennel is a premises where more than the prescribed number of companion animals are kept, and:
  • the owner or operator of the premises receives a fee for keeping the companion animals, or;
  • the companion animals are kept in connection with a commercial enterprise that is not exempt under the regulations, or;
  • premises operated as a pound, animal shelter or animal rescue facility, or premises operated for a similar purpose as designated in the regulations.
Kennels - Prescribed Animal Number
The prescribed maximum number of campanion animals that may be kept in a premises that is not a kennel is seven, regardless if the animals are of the same species or a combination of species, e.g., three cats and four dogs.

Care includes the provision of food, water, shelter and medical attention to an animal. Care encompasses those things that owners are required to provide for an animal to ensure good welfare.

An owner is a person having possession or control of an animal or occupying premises containing an animal.

Also, an owner is someone who possessed or controlled an animal, or occupied premises containing the animal, immediately before it was seized or taken into custody under The Animal Care Act

Occupied premises examples include:

  • pet store owner/corporation
  • manager
Duty of the Owner to Protect Animals 


  • Shall ensure that the animal has an adequate source of food and water.
  • Shall provide the animal with adequate medical attention when the animal is wounded or ill.
  • Shall provide the animal with reasonable protection from harmful heat or cold. 
Acceptable Activities
Acceptable activities include: shelters, rescues, municipal pounds, companion animal retail stores, boarding kennels, companion animal breeding premises.

Suffering Unduly
  • If an animal has suffered serious harm or endured extreme anxiety or distress and has not received veterinary treatment.
  • If veterinary treatment to relieve the animal’s suffering is not immediately available.
Example of suffering unduly include:
A whelping bitch is having difficulty birthing but has not received proper veterinary care. Failing to provide the animal with appropriate veterinary care/treatment, such as a caesarean section, could cause:
  • pain 
  • illness 
  • disease 
  • death of adult 
  • death of puppies 
Needless Suffering 
Means suffering that is not inevitable or intrinsic to an acceptable activity.
Acceptable versus Prohibited Practices 
An acceptable practice that might result in some suffering includes:
  • pest control
  • animal discipline and training
  • nail trimming
  • veterinary procedures:
    • spaying or neutering
    • medical treatment – vaccination
A prohibited practice includes chaining a companion animal outdoors in sub-zero temperature without adequate shelter available. Also, with regards to pest control, trapping wildlife and leaving it caged is not acceptable.

Means to provide the animals all the necessities of life and to maintain the animal in living conditions that do not cause it distress. 
Animals in Distress 

Animals in distress are those that are:   

  • Subjected to conditions that, unless immediately alleviated, will cause the animal death or serious harm.
  • Subjected to conditions that cause the animal to suffer acute pain.
  • Not provided food and water sufficient to maintain the animal in a good state of health.
  • Not provided appropriate medical attention when the animal is wounded or ill.
  • Unduly exposed to cold or heat.
  • Subjected to conditions that will over time, significantly impair the animal’s health or well-being. 

Who is Responsible?
  • owners
  • caregivers
  • volunteers
See Something - Do Something!

Go to Module 2.

For more information, please contact the Animal Care Line, or call 204-945-8000 (in Winnipeg); 
1-888-945-8001 (toll-free).