MILTON, ON, May 4, 2017 /CNW/ - Farm & Food Care Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario released a joint statement today in response to the dismissal of charges announced by Justice David Harris on Anita Krajnc's charge for criminal mischief related to interfering with farm animals while in transit.
The Ontario farm organizations are extremely disappointed with the decision and are concerned that activists will be encouraged to engage in escalating activities that are a growing threat to animal welfare, food security and human safety.
Bruce Kelly, Farm & Food Care Ontario said that "Ontario farmers work hard to ensure high standards of animal welfare and a safe and healthy food supply for Canadians. Actions by Krajnc and activists like her should not be condoned by the courts as they threaten acceptable and legal farming practices and are a threat to food safety."
Eric Schwindt, board chair for Ontario Pork added, "This is frustrating for Ontario pork producers, who adhere to federal regulations and high standards of animal care, and are constantly evolving to further enhance their commitment to healthy animals and communities. Our concern in this instance was specific to the safety of food and people."
Furthermore, Pat Jilesen, Director, Ontario Federation of Agriculture said, "The livestock industry abides by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Health of Animals transport regulations. This ensures the well-being of all livestock during movement and transport. Interfering with animals during transport is simply unsafe for the animals and the people involved."
Clarence Nywening, President of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, concluded, "This is a huge disappointment to Ontario farmers who are committed to keeping animals healthy and safe throughout their lives. Actions like this by activists are putting pigs, families, communities and livelihoods at risk."
Farm & Food Care Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario share a mandate to support agriculture and Ontario farmers. The four groups will meet to discuss next steps related to this issue.
Farm & Food Care Ontario is a coalition of farmers, agriculture and food partners proactively working together to build public trust and confidence in food and farming. Find out more at www.FarmFoodCareON.org
Ontario Pork represents the 1,284 farmers who raise pigs in the province. The organization focuses on many areas, including research, government representation, environmental issues, consumer education and food quality assurance. The Ontario industry contributes $932.8 million in gross domestic product, $2.7 billion in economic output and 17,015 full-time job equivalents. Visit Ontario Pork's website: www.ontariopork.on.ca.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 36,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario's farmers and is Ontario's voice of the farmer. www.ofa.on.ca
The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) is a professional organization for families called to the vocation of farming. The CFFO values family farm enterprise, profitability, and responsible stewardship of resources. CFFO policy promotes economically, socially and environmentally sustainable farming, advocating that farmers receive fair return for their production and stewardship efforts. www.christianfarmers.org
SOURCE Farm & Food Care Ontario
For further information: Bruce Kelly, Program Manager, Farm & Food Care Ontario - www.farmfoodcareON.org, 519-837-1326 extension 292; Stacey Ash, Manager Communications and Consumer Marketing, Ontario Pork - www.ontariopork.on.ca, 519-820-3119, firstname.lastname@example.org; Clarence Nywening, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario - www.christianfarmers.org, 519-837-1620; Pat Jilesen, Ontario Federation of Agriculture - www.ofa.on.ca, 519-386-1330