Ontario's solicitor general is expected to introduce new animal welfare legislation today.

Sylvia Jones says the bill -- dubbed the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act -- will include a number of new criminal offences that prohibit animal cruelty.

Under the new legislation, more provincial inspectors would be hired to cover the province, including specialists in livestock, zoos and aquariums.

Jones is expected to introduce the legislation later today and if passed the province will begin to implement the new system on Jan. 1., 2020.

The changes come after the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it would not longer investigate and enforce animal cruelty laws.

The new system would allow provincial inspectors to take over from humane societies, who have been enforcing animal cruelty laws since the OSPCA abdicated its role.

This story by the Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2019.