Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


New transport rules still fail animals 

December 6, 2016 Animal Justice action alert  

To: Dr. Cornelius Kiley
National Manager, Animal Welfare, Biosecurity & Assurance Programs Section
Canadian Food Inspection Agency  

Cc: Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture (and person’s MP) 

Canada's animal transport laws have long been considered the worst in the western world, yet proposed updates to the rules are deeply disappointing and will not protect animals from egregious suffering during animal transport. 

I am particularly disturbed that the new rules still allow animals to be transported long distances without food, water or rest; do not protect animals from extreme weather conditions; and still allow for the use of electric prods. 

Please commit to further revising the proposed new transport regulations to ensure that: 

- the maximum transport time for all species without food, water or rest is no longer than eight hours;
- transport trucks are insulated and ventilated, with specific temperature limits set and monitored;
- electric prods are prohibited;
- specific, measurable loading densities are set out, as they are in the European Union;
- teeth cutting is prohibited;
- throwing animals and holding them by their legs is prohibited;
- hydraulic lifting systems or lower ramps are used;
- driver and transport company must adhere to strict training and licensing welfare standards; and
- penalties are effective, dissuasive, and proportionate. 

Forcing animals to endure long journeys without food, water and rest while being exposed to extreme, injurious, and sometimes fatal weather conditions is inexcusable. Please do not miss this opportunity to bring Canada's animal transport laws into the 21st century. 

Comment: We, along with many others over the past decades, have repeatedly requested that the Minister of Agriculture and the Canadian government commit to an extensive overhaul not only of the animal transportation regulations but also the enforcement of these regulations. It is the duty of government, as representatives of the people, to act. While the CFIA is finally starting the process of revising current regulations, it is extremely disappointing many of the most critical issues facing animals during transport are not being addressed. Under the proposed amendments, livestock haulers will be permitted to transport animals through all weather extremes without food, water, or rest for up to 36 hours, and loopholes have been added to allow for animals to be transported for even longer times with no penalties to transporters. This is unacceptable.

Our goal should be to stop enabling the use of animals as part of the economy.  

Under the planned new regulations, the basic maximum intervals for transport without feed, water and rest would be: 12 hours for compromised species and livestock eight days or younger; 24 hours for broiler chickens, spent laying hens, and rabbits; 28 hours for pigs and horses; 72 hours for day-old chicks; and 36 hours for “all other animals.

The proposed new rules do not go far enough in moving us from a primitive and unenlightened society into an age where the exploitation of farmed animals as mere production machines is viewed as unnecessary, unethical, and economically unsustainable.

Crammed into overcrowded trailers and forced to endure gruelling conditions in all weather extremes without food, water, or rest, every year in Canada more than 8 million farmed animals arrive at slaughterhouses dead or so sick or injured that they must be killed. (March 2016 news item)

September 18, 2018 Canada’s rules for transporting animals are weak — but they’re also not rigorously enforced 

In Canada, the rules for transporting animals are already weak. Pigs can be trucked for up to 36 hours without food or water. For cattle, the number is 52 hours. Animals can be shipped in the freezing cold or broiling sun — as long as they do not suffer “undue exposure” to the elements (whatever that means). 

But inspection reports released to the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals has revealed another glaring inadequacy: In much of Canada, including Ontario, the rules are not rigorously enforced. 

To be more specific, in 2016 and 2017 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted spot inspections of trucks carrying animals in only five provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Exactly why Ontario and other provinces were exempted from these spot checks remains unclear. (Source: Thomas Walkom, The Star)

Read more: Canadian farm animal transport laws atrocious; Health of Animals Regulations; Compromised Animals Policy; comparing the US, Europe, & Canada's transport reg's; truck fire, 1000s of chickens perish, SK piglets die in truck crash; 2019 update Gov't bows to industry

Canada: No Country For Animals & Animal Freedom Day; Canada gets a "D" in animal protection

Compromised Animals Policy

A comparison of regulations for the transport of farm animals in Canada, the US & the EU

2015: Slaughter reports from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reveal that we killed at least 750,409,569 land animals for food.

Apr. 30, 2019 A record-breaking 819 million land animals were killed in Canadian slaughterhouses in 2018—up from 800 million in 2017, 771 million in 2016, & 750 million in 2015. Most of the increase is because more and more chickens are being killed for meat, due to population growth, & a steady rise in per capita consumption of chickens.