Animal welfare ignored in new government agriculture framework



    OTTAWA, April 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has
unveiled the Growing Forward Framework Agreement that sets Canada's
agricultural policy framework for the next five years. However, there's a
major flaw in the plan - it will do nothing to address Canada's shameful
record on animal welfare.
    A report released today by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
(CFHS) illustrates just how far behind Canada is of countries like Australia,
New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the European Union. All of these
jurisdictions have invested millions of dollars in recent years to address
animal welfare. In stark contrast, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
launches a five-year plan that basically ignores farm animal welfare.
    "The Minister of Agriculture has shown no interest in taking any
leadership on animal welfare in Canada", states Shelagh MacDonald, CFHS
Program Director. "It's rather unbelievable that the Canadian government is so
out of step with the rest of the world on this issue. Throughout the Growing
Forward consultation process, animal welfare has been ignored, resulting in a
framework that includes no provision, strategy nor plan to fund animal
welfare."
    Other countries have comprehensive animal welfare strategies specifically
aimed at ensuring high standards of animal welfare. They also have permanent
and state-funded animal welfare advisory committees that provide counsel to
government.
    The Canadian government funded the formation and first two years of
operation of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), which provides a
national coordinated approach promoting responsible farm animal care in
Canada. But it has refused to provide even $100,000 per year to support this
rather modest animal care initiative.
    Recently, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) urged
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and his government to take action on NFACC
funding.
    "At a minimum, the Canadian government needs to provide sustainable
funding for NFACC through the Growing Forward initiative," explains Dr. Terry
Whiting, Chair, CVMA Animal Welfare Committee. "This would aid in further
development of livestock Codes of Practice and enhance Canadian livestock
welfare."
    There are also increasing market and trade implications of animal welfare
around the world and Canada will be left behind if our government doesn't take
action now.
    "Canadians have repeatedly shown that they care about the welfare of
animals", stated Ms. MacDonald. "They should be appalled to learn that Canada
lags so far behind many other countries and that our Agriculture Minister has
no plans to remedy this."
    To read the Canadian Funding Policy for Farm Animal Welfare: A Step
Behind the World by the CFHS, visit:
http://cfhs.ca/info/farm_animal_welfare_report.

    About the CFHS

    The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is the only national voice
representing humane societies and SPCAs across Canada. The CFHS is a
charitable organization committed to promoting respect and humane treatment
toward all animals. We have a seat on the National Farm Animal Care Council,
the organization responsible for the review and development of Codes of
Practice for the Care and Handling of livestock. To learn more, visit
www.cfhs.ca.

    About CVMA

    The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) is the national body
representing and serving the interests of over 11,000 veterinarians in Canada.
Animal welfare advocacy is a top priority for the CVMA. To learn more, visit
http://canadianveterinarians.net/animal.aspx




For further information:

For further information: Shelagh MacDonald, Program Director, CFHS,
(613) 224-8072 ext. 21 (office), (613) 262-0588 (cell)

Organization Profile

CANADIAN FEDERATION OF HUMANE SOCIETIES (CFHS)

More on this organization

CANADIAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

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