Frequently Asked Questions

This page is intended to provide general information and is specific to the time when it is first issued. Please keep in mind that the ACRB’s staff cannot provide you with legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult a person licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.

Appeals and Applications

Who can file an appeal or application?

The owner or custodian of an animal

May appeal to the Board

  1. Compliance orders (s. 38(1)1)
  2. Removal orders (s. 38(1)2)
  3. Orders to keep an animal in the Chief Animal Welfare Inspector's care (s. 38(1)3)
  4. Statements of account served by the Chief Animal Welfare Inspector (s. 38(2))

May apply to the Board for

  1. Revocation of an order on the basis that the animal has ceased to be in distress (s. 38(3))
  2. Return of an animal on the basis that the conditions that caused the animal to be kept in the Chief Animal Welfare Inspector's care have ceased to exist (s. 38(4))
Once a person files an appeal or application with the ACRB, they are referred to as either an Appellant or Applicant. If the Appellant or Applicant is a company, the person filing an appeal or application on behalf of that company must have authority to do so.

How do I know if I have the right to appeal to the ACRB?

Your right to appeal to the Board should be clearly indicated in the Order or Notice that you will receive from the Chief Animal Welfare Inspector.Appeal rights and other matters are set out in the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019. For more information, please see e-laws.

Is the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) still involved in animal welfare law enforcement?

After the Superior Court decision, Bogaerts v. Attorney General of Ontario, the OSPCA announced that it would end its enforcement services as of June 28, 2019. With the introduction of the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, 2019, animal welfare law enforcement has become the responsibility of the provincial government. The new provincial enforcement team will be made up of a chief animal welfare inspector, one or more deputy chief animal welfare inspectors, locally deployed provincial inspectors and specialized inspectors for livestock, zoos and aquariums.

Case Conferences and Hearings

Who will hear my appeal/application?

Hearings are conducted by at least one member of the ACRB (and may be heard by up to three members).ACRB members are appointed by Order-in-Council. Information about the appointment process and the ACRB’s membership can be found on the Public Appointments Secretariat’s website.

What happens if I do not appear on the date set for the hearing and I do not notify the ACRB?

It is important that you attend any proceedings on the date scheduled. If you do not appear for your hearing, the ACRB would take steps to contact you. If we are unable to reach you, the hearing might proceed in your absence and you would not be entitled to any further notice in the proceeding. The ACRB may also dismiss an appeal.

Are hearings open to the public?

Yes. Hearings are open to the public unless ordered otherwise by the ACRB. You can contact the ACRB for a schedule of proceedings.


Are decisions publicly available?

Yes. Decisions are publicly available on the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website. CanLII is an online platform that offers free public access to tribunal and court decisions.

When does the Board’s decision take effect?

The decision takes effect on the date it is released to the parties unless otherwise set out in the decision.

What if I disagree with a decision?

A party can ask the Executive Chair of Tribunals Ontario to reconsider a decision. You can learn about the process and criteria for making a request for reconsideration here.

What if a decision is not clear or has an error?

The Board may review and correct typographical, calculation and other minor errors to clarify an order or decision.