Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Update Canada's Archaic Animal Transport Regulations  

October 12, 2014 Change.org (by MFA) 

To: The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister responsible for the CFIA
Dr. Bruce Archibald, CFIA President
Carolina Giliberti, CFIA Executive Vice-President
Dr. Martine Dubuc, Chief Food Safety Officer & Delegate to the OIE
Dr. Harpreet Kochhar, Chief Veterinary Officer & Executive Director of Animal Health Directorate of the CFIA 

I was horrified to see undercover video footage exposing brutal animal abuse in Canada’s livestock transportation sector. The video shows animals overcrowded in transport trucks without protection from extreme weather or access to food and water; "downed" pigs who are so sick or injured they are unable to walk being painfully shocked with electric prods; workers using bolt cutters to break the tusks of male pigs without any painkillers; and animals who died during transport. Perhaps most shocking is the fact that all of this takes place under the watch of government inspectors.

For at least eight years, your ministry has been promising to update Canada's shamefully outdated transport regulations, but has continued to delay and drag its feet while millions of animals suffer and die. Canada’s outdated livestock transport regulations are the weakest in the Western world. We lag behind the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, and allow animals to suffer miserably in overcrowded trucks bound for slaughterhouses. Each year in Canada, more than 8 million farmed animals arrive at slaughterhouses dead or so sick or injured that they are declared unfit for human consumption.

The time for action is now. You have the authority and the responsibility to protect farmed animals from flagrant abuse and neglect during transport.

I urge your department to modernize Canada’s animal transport regulations, including requiring food, water, and rest for animals at least every eight hours, and prohibiting the breaking of boars' tusks. Not only do Canada’s woefully lacking transport regulations need to be updated, they need to be enforced with meaningful penalties.

As a civilized society it's our moral obligation to prevent cruelty to all animals, including farmed animals. It’s time that Canada updated its transport regulations to, at the very least, be in line with the rest of the Western world.