In July 2016, this Office issued the Final Report in a matter brought forward by a Municipality in relation to the Municipality’s handling of roaming horses. The situation involved the Municipality, Department of Natural Resources, and the Animal Welfare Division of the Department of Agriculture. The Animal Welfare Division now falls under the authority of Nova Scotia Environment.
It is infrequent, but not unheard of, for a matter to be brought to the attention of the Office by a respondent. A preliminary review of the matter indicated a formal investigation was warranted.
Ombudsman Representatives interviewed several staff from the Municipality, relevant government departments, elected officials, and members of the public who were involved in the situation. A number of issues were identified in the investigation, including the Municipality’s handling of the situation, the Deputy Warden’s involvement in the matter, the Department of Natural Resources process of issuing permits to carry firearms, and the Animal Welfare Division’s response to complaints involving the roaming horses.
Recommendations were issued to the Municipality, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture/Nova Scotia Environment. These recommendations focused on a review of by-laws, policy, and processes within provincial and municipal government.