TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2020 /CNW/ - Every year about 700 million farm animals are raised and killed for food in Canada. They are often kept in overcrowded conditions or cages where they cannot even turn around. Piglets are castrated, sometimes with no anaesthetic, chickens are bred for such fast growth it causes painful injuries and some dairy cows spend their lives tied to a stall unable to move freely. Many of these animals suffer physically and mentally from the stress of such poor living conditions.
On World Farm Animals Day, the global charity World Animal Protection, is asking people to think about farm animals and to speak up and show they want better treatment for these animals who are smart and social.
Some of the practices on farms, such as dehorning or branding cattle, most would consider inhumane, but they are, in fact, standard practice.
There are codes of practice created by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) in Canada which sets standards for on-farm animal care, however, although many producers follow the codes, they are not mandatory.
Animal advocates have been pushing for years for more transparency and stronger protection for farm animals, but the opposite is happening. There is currently a disturbing trend occurring across Canada. Many refer to it as the "ag gag" law. These laws are essentially designed to prevent people from exposing animal mistreatment and abuse.
Over the years, animal advocates, as well as the media, have shone light on animal cruelty incidents done to farm animals. Much of which was exposed through undercover investigations. In some cases that led to the farm or slaughterhouse employees being charged. However, these ag gag laws are created to make such undercover work illegal and instead would charge those trying to expose the truth.
The laws have already passed in Alberta and Ontario, and Manitoba is now considering one too. In Ontario, the bill is known as Bill 156, The Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act. The government is offering a public comment period on the regulations until October 15th.
"World Animal Protection encourages Ontario residents to submit a comment to the government to help ensure that animal welfare is a priority as the process moves forward," says Lynn Kavanagh, Campaign Manager with World Animal Protection Canada. "It's important that the government sees that people want to know how their food is processed and that they want to see more transparency from the industry."
One area to consider giving comment on is the false pretences clause. Under this clause, a person can be charged for revealing poor conditions, including mistreatment and abuse of animals on farms, in a slaughterhouse, or another animal use facility, when such information is gathered without disclosing the intent to do so.
Meanwhile, as more Canadians become aware of what can happen to some farm animals many are starting to change their dietary habits too. Some people are eating less meat, while others are looking to buy animal products from farms where animals were raised in better conditions. World Animal Protection encourages consumers to buy higher welfare products if they can and has created a helpful shopping guide to help people navigate the sometimes confusing labels.
Small steps like this can create change. World Animal Protection is part of a growing movement working to create a better life for farm animals, who, like other animals such as dogs, elephants and dolphins, are sentient beings and deserve our kindness and respect.
About World Animal Protection
From our offices around the world, including China, Australia, Brazil, Kenya and Canada, we move the world to protect animals. Last year, we gave more than 3 billion animals better lives through our campaigns that focus on animals in the wild, animals in disasters, animals in communities and animals in farming. For more information visit www.worldanimalprotection.ca
SOURCE World Animal Protection
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