VICTORIA - The British Columbia government is making changes to animal welfare legislation to establish a regulatory or licensing system that monitors dog and cat breeders.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick says introducing amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is part of the government's efforts to develop a system that ensures puppies and kittens are treated with care and respect.

Craig Daniell, executive director of the provincial SPCA, says the organization investigates up to 200 animal cruelty cases involving breeders annually, and many of the animals do not survive the mistreatment they suffer.

He says tighter regulations on dog and cat breeders will result in better treatment of the animals and fewer deaths.