Animal protection groups call for all universities in Canada to follow
University of Guelph and go cage-free
TORONTO, and VANCOUVER, April 2 /CNW/ - The Canadian Coalition for Farm
Animals (CCFA) and the Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) are holding news
conferences at university campuses in Toronto and Vancouver to release new
footage of shocking conditions on a Canadian egg farm, underscoring the cruel
conditions under which Canada's hens exist, and calling on all universities in
Canada to go cage-free.
Monday, April 2, 2007:
Toronto: University of Toronto Hart House (South Dining Room, 2nd Floor,
West wing) at 11am (ET)
Vancouver: SFU Harbour Centre (corner of Hastings and Richards), Room
2945 at 11am (PST)
The footage, taken at Clark Egg Farms Ltd. in Caledonia, Ontario, reveals
row upon row of hens in extremely crowded conditions; crammed into wire cages
so tightly they cannot stretch even one wing. Some hens are filthy with feces
from the hens above and all have the front portion of their beaks cut off.
International poultry expert Dr. Mohan Raj says the birds in the footage
"appear to be distressed, suffer from severe loss of feathers, some are
covered with excrement and they all seem to have overgrown and deformed
claws." He describes the dead birds seen in some cages as summing up "the
extent of cruelty inflicted on these hens."
CCFA and VHS are calling on all universities to follow the lead of the
University of Guelph, which recently announced it would use only cage-free
shell eggs on campus.
"If Canada's premier agricultural university can do it, so can the
others," states Bruce Passmore, VHS's Farm Animal Welfare Coordinator. "It's a
clear choice between compassion and cruelty - these birds suffer horrendously
and it doesn't have to be this way - there are alternatives." The University
of BC, Simon Fraser University, the BC Institute of Technology, McGill,
Concordia and numerous other universities and colleges in Canada are working
on similar policies. The University of Toronto has a local sustainable food
initiative with a cage-free egg component.
Recent advances such as Burger King's announcement that it will begin
buying eggs and pork from suppliers that don't confine animals in cages and
crates; Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's new strict animal welfare code for
suppliers and Maple Leaf Foods' move to phase out sow crates in Canada are
signals to industry, according to Stephanie Brown of CCFA. "The science is
clear - animals are suffering in these systems. It's time for change."
Footage and photos available at media conferences and online at
www.chickenout.ca/clark and www.humanefood.ca
For further information: Stephanie Brown, Director, CCFA - (416)
920-4984, Cell (416) 836-4859; Bruce Passmore, Farm Animal Welfare
Coordinator, VHS - (604) 266-9744, Cell (604) 603-5401