Practice area title bg


Animal law is a specialized area of legal practice involving animals and the people who interact with them. At McCague Borlack LLP, we have a group of lawyers with unique skills providing expertise in this rapidly evolving area of the law.

Our firm's Animal Law Practice Group provides expertise and experience in a broad range of risk management, litigation, and dispute resolution services, including:

1. Liability Issues

  • Death or injury caused by or to pets, horses, or livestock
  • Mortality, morbidity, surgical intervention, and euthanasia issues
  • Occupiers' liability
  • kennel liability
  • Product liability
  • Feed, drug, and toxicology liability
  • Pet adoption and foster care issues
  • Fisheries and fish farm exposures

2. Professional Liability Issues

  • Malpractice claims involving veterinarians, animal health technicians, and veterinary clinics
  • Equestrian coaches
  • Racehorse trainers
  • Pet groomers

3. Regulatory Matters

  • College of Veterinarians of Ontario
  • Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals
  • Animal Care Review Board
  • Ontario Racing Commission
  • Animals for Research Act
  • Canadian Council on Animal Care
  • Municipal by-law issues

4. Insurance Coverage

  • Liability and professional services coverage
  • Policy, endorsement, exclusion, and competing wordings interpretation and dispute resolution

5. Horse Racing

  • Racing, purchase and sale, and breeding agreements
  • Ontario Racing Commission matters, including licensing issues
  • Death or injury claims
  • Syndication disputes

6. Riding and Boarding Stable Exposures

  • Injuries to riders or horses
  • Riding lesson agreements, including waivers and releases
  • Horse purchase and sale agreements
  • Boarding stable agreements, including liens
  • Riding Horse Safety Act issues

 7. Farming and Animal Husbandry Issues

  • Livestock liability and property claims
  • Farm business claims
  • Bloodstock issues
  • Equipment failures
  • Feed contamination
  • Environmental liability, including noise, air, soil, and water contamination
  • Artificial fertilizer and pesticide issues
  • Fire safety and compliance

8. Animal Research

  • Animal research facility and Animals for Research Act issues
  • Animal welfare and ethical concerns
  • Media training
  • Liaison with regulators, including provincial inspectors and Canadian Council on Animal Care
  • Policy development
  • Import/export of research animals
  • Employment issues

9. Transportation

  • Claims involving transportation of horses or livestock by road, air, and water
  • International transportation of animals, including regulatory and import/export requirements

10. Workplace Safety

  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board claims
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act issues

11. Employment

  • Employment contracts for employees of veterinary clinics, riding and boarding stables, racing operations, and farms
  • Employment Standards Act, wrongful dismissal, and constructive dismissal issues for employers
  • Human rights issues, including hiring, duty to accommodate, harassment, and termination for employers

12. Family law

  • Custody and ownership disputes involving pets
  • Visitation rights involving pets

13. Media relations and crisis planning

  • Provide training and assistance to persons or institutions facing emotionally charged issues involving animals
  • Dealing with the media
  • Preparation of press releases