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Animal Justice Files False Advertising Complaint Over Shrine Circus Elephant Ad

Animal Justice August 3, 2016

TORONTO – Animal law advocacy organization Animal Justice filed a false advertising complaint today over misleading ads by the Shrine Circus appearing on Toronto Transit Commission vehicles.

The transit ads promote the Shrine Circus’ 2016 summer “Spectac!” tour in Southwestern Ontario and the GTA, and feature the image of an elephant in the midst of a circus performance, representing explicitly to ad viewers that elephant acts will be present in Shrine Circus shows. In reality, there will be no elephant performances this year; the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) cancelled permits on April 21, 2016 for two endangered Asian elephants named Shelley and Marie to be transported to from the U.S. to Canada for use in the Shrine Circus.

The cancellations come after Tarzan Zerbini, the U.S.-based circus contractor that provides elephant acts to the Shrine Circus, was found to have fallen far short of its promised financial contribution to elephant conservation, which was a condition of permits being issued in the first place. The investigation into Tarzan Zerbini’s verifiable contributions was prompted by a U.S. lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The Animal Justice complaint was filed today with Advertising Standards Canada, a national advertising self-regulatory body that hears and adjudicates complaints over false and misleading advertisements.

“The Shrine Circus ads deliberately mislead the public and conceal the truth, which is that elephants won’t be forced to perform in Canada this year,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “Shrine Circus contractor Tarzan Zerbini failed to meet even the minimal standards in place for permits to export these endangered Asian elephants. Rather than clinging to exploitative and outdated elephant performances, it’s time for the Shrine Circus to follow in the footsteps of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey, which finally abandoned elephant acts for good this year.”

There is a growing public sentiment that it is unacceptable to confine elephants in zoos and force them to perform in circuses. Most Canadian zoos and many American zoos have sent their elephants to sanctuaries, including the Toronto Zoo, recognizing that elephants have complex social and behavioural needs that cannot be met in captivity.

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Animal Justice’s complaint to Advertising Standards Canada can be read here.

A high-resolution image of the misleading transit ad can be downloaded here.

For more information, contact:

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director
camille@animaljustice.ca

 

Animal Justice

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Authorities Investigating After Live Chicken Goes Through Sanitizing Washer at Vancouver Slaughterhouse

Animal Justice June 27, 2016

VANCOUVER—The BC SPCA is investigating an incident of a live chicken going through a sanitizing washer at Hallmark Poultry in downtown Vancouver. The aftermath of the incident was captured by photographer Kornelia Kulbacki, who was at the slaughterhouse as part of a demonstration against cruelty in the chicken industry. Her photo showing the soaked and distressed chicken has since gone viral on Facebook (see here and here).

“I was horrified to see a live animal huddled in the corner of a crate being stacked with other empty crates,” said Ms. Kulbacki. “I pleaded with one of the workers in charge to let us rescue the animal and take him or her to a sanctuary, but he refused. Science has shown that chickens are emotionally complex individuals who have the capacity to suffer, just like our beloved dogs and cats at home. At slaughterhouses, the sentient animals we call ‘food’ are treated like mere commodities by workers desensitized to the overwhelming violence of the system.”

“This incident appears to be a clear violation of both federal and provincial laws that protect animals,” said lawyer Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy with Animal Justice. “Allowing live animals to be exposed to the scalding water and chemicals of sanitizing washers is blatant animal cruelty. Law enforcement authorities must act to hold the slaughterhouse accountable for its callous disregard of living animals.”

Ms. Kulbacki has reported the incident to the BC SPCA, which enforces provincial animal welfare laws, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which enforces federal slaughter laws at meat processing plants. The BC SPCA has commenced an investigation.

For more information:
?
Anna Pippus
Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy
apippus@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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Company Sues Slaughterhouse For Selling Cancer-Containing Meat

Animal Justice June 20, 2016

A meat brand is suing a slaughtering facility for supplying it with meat from an animal who had cancer. The lawsuit claims damages of $725,867.

The slaughterhouse had previously had its licence suspended for lacking food safety controls.

Canada’s meat industry is largely unregulated. For most of the animals lives, there are no species- or sector-specific standards relating to their treatment, and no oversight, accountability, or transparency. Consumers are in the dark about what animals endure inside modern farms with only industry-created marketing materials to fill the knowledge gap.

Animal Justice is calling for a regulatory system that takes rule-making power out of the hands of those who stand to profit from using–or abusing–animals.

Animal Justice

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