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Canada Killed More Than 800 Million Land Animals for Food in 2017

Animal Justice April 17, 2018

Slaughter reports from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada show we killed over 800,756,236 land animals for food in 2017—up from 771 million in 2016 and 750 million in 2015. The growth is mostly because more chickens are being killed for meat. This is in part due to population growth, but per capita consumption of chickens (including chickens eaten and lost to food waste) is also steadily rising.

Here are the numbers broken down by sector:

Meat chickens: 711,459,823
Egg-laying hens and breeding chickens: 36,580,473
Turkeys: 20,248,949
Ducks and geese: 6,428,062
Pigs: 20,728,785 (federally) 864,871 (provincially)
Adult cows (dairy and meat): 2,831,766 (federally) 151,484 (provincially)
Calves: 199,409 (federally) 36,640 (provincially)
Sheeps and lambs: 170,576 (federally) 371,516 (provincially)
Goats: 68,709
Bisons: 9,369 (federally) 1,517 (provincially)
Rabbits: 604,287

But these numbers don’t paint the full picture. The government concealed horse slaughter numbers this year, so tens of thousands of horses killed are likely not accounted for here.

The numbers also don’t include aquatic animals, whose deaths aren’t tracked. However, we do know that last year we killed 160,054 tonnes of farmed finned fish (e.g., salmon and trout), accounting for millions of individual lives.

Deers, elks, and wild boars are also killed in Canadian slaughterhouses but no data is available.

Animals killed by the animal agriculture industry outside of slaughterhouses are also not accounted for, including the male chicks killed at birth in hatcheries ,and the millions of animals who die prematurely of illnesses and injuries on farms and during transport.

 

Photo courtesy of Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

 

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Four Reasons to NEVER Buy a Bunny as an Easter Gift

Animal Justice March 28, 2018

Easter is just around the corner, and with it comes family gatherings, chocolate, Easter egg hunts and gifts. It’s also a time of year when local animal rescue groups brace for the impact of thousands of people buying bunnies as gifts for children. Tragically, many of the rabbits are abandoned in the weeks after Easter, once families begin to realize that caring for a rabbit is a major commitment. We break down why giving a bunny as a gift is a terrible idea.

1. Companion animals should never be bought or adopted on impulse

Rabbits are incredible animals, but there are many questions to consider and prepare for before bringing a rabbit into the family. Many families aren’t prepared for the responsibility of pet ownership, and the joy of a new rabbit can quickly wear off. A rabbit’s lifespan is 8-12 years, and if a family loses interest, the bunny could suffer years of neglect. Rabbits are sensitive animals, and don’t make good pets for small children. A child’s enthusiasm and handling can be stressful for rabbits or even injure them. Rather than viewing rabbits and other pets as consumer items, it’s important to understand that they are individuals.

2. Rabbits have complex needs

Caring properly for a rabbit can be complex. Rabbits are high-maintenance pets with many specific physical and emotional needs. Rabbits may suffer from boredom and depression if they are kept in cages, so they need many hours of free-roaming time and mental stimulation every day in a spacious, rabbit-proof area. If an area isn’t rabbit-proofed, rabbits may chew items. Rabbits also require a diet rich in hay and fresh vegetables.

3. Many rabbits bought for Easter will end up dead or abandoned before their first birthday

Tragically, it’s all too common for people to dispose of rabbits once the responsibility of their care sets in and the excitement of Easter weekend wears off. Many rabbits will be brought to animal shelters, end up confined in outdoor hutches, or simply be abandoned. Bunnies who are released into the wild usually die from starvation, the elements or from predators.

4. Buying from pet stores supports bunny mills

Just like in puppy mills, bunnies are often bred in large facilities where their welfare is not respected. Bunny mills force rabbits to live their entire lives as breeding machines confined in cages, with no ability to roam, enjoy being with their families, or perform natural behaviours.

Babies are often taken from their mothers too early, at only a few weeks of age, because they look cute and take up less space in pet stores.

Meanwhile, shelters are overflowing with loving animals, including rabbits, who need forever homes. Purchasing rabbits from pet stores and breeders condemns rabbits in shelters and rescues to death, increasing euthanasia rates of healthy, adoptable pets.

Try these alternatives instead

Who doesn’t like chocolate, especially over Easter? Try gifting a plush toy or a dairy-free chocolate Easter bunny!

Bring your child to an animal sanctuary or volunteer at an animal shelter with them. These are great places to interact with animals, to teach children about different animals, and how to properly care for and respect them as individuals, not consumer items.

 

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Authorities Refuse to Crack Down on Misleading Milk Ads

Animal Justice March 21, 2018

In November 2016, Animal Justice filed complaints with authorities over a misleading ad campaign that suggested that consuming of dairy is essential for human health. The ads, sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, were crafted to appear as public health announcements by several health organizations, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Osteoperosis Canada, and Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. Disturbingly, the ads told Canadians to consume dairy to prevent osteoporosis, colorectal cancer, and hypertension.

According to Dietitians of Canada, it is not necessary to consume fluid cow’s milk, yogurt, or cheese to avoid colorectal cancer, osteoporosis, or heart disease. On the contrary, Dietitians of Canada states that a vegan diet, without dairy, “has many health benefits including lower rates of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.”

Dr. Walter Willet, Chair of Harvard’s Department of Nutrition and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, observes that high dairy intake is not beneficial and may even be harmful. According to Dr. Willet, high dairy consumption is associated with increased risk of prostate and ovarian cancer.

Animal Justice filed false advertising complaints with the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)—which are responsible for protecting consumers from fake marketing. Food ads must be truthful so consumers can avoid food fraud and make informed choices.

Last year, the Competition Bureau—the federal consumer protection agency—opened an inquiry into the false ads. However, Animal Justice just received bad news—the Commissioner of Competition dropped the inquiry.

Laws protecting farmed animals in Canada are weak or often don’t exist in the first place. Even when laws offer some protections to animals, they are badly under-enforced. That’s why Animal Justice lawyers get creative to protect animals. We use false advertising laws to crack down on the meat, dairy, and egg industries. We’re dismayed that our legal complaints have not resulted in justice.

But we’re not ready to give up. Next, we’ll file requests under freedom of information legislation to find out why authorities fail to act. As long as farmed animals are confined in appalling conditions and food companies get away with lying about their products, we will use whatever legal tools are available to fight for animals.

 

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  • Aurelia’s Birthday Donation

    by on January 24, 2018 - 0 Comments

    More and more often, kids are donatiing to charities like SCARS in lieu of getting birthday gifts. When she turned six, Aurelia (Auri) decided there were enough toys around her house. She saw the good life that her own pets have and wanted to help rescued animals. For her birthday Auri collected toys, treats and

    The post Aurelia’s Birthday Donation appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • B.C. Court Strikes Down Vancouver Aquarium Whale & Dolphin Ban

    by on February 9, 2018 - 0 Comments

    VANCOUVER – National animal law advocacy organization Animal Justice is responding to the decision from the B.C. Supreme Court quashing, in part, a municipal bylaw aimed at preventing whales and dolphins from suffering in captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium. The Aquarium sought to overturn the Park Board bylaw passed in May, 2017 that bans confining whales, dolphins, and porpoises in Vancouver parks, including... Read more » Animal Justice

  • Vancouver Transit Police Target Animal Activist for Showing Slaughterhouse Footage

    by on March 16, 2018 - 0 Comments

    TransLink Transit Police in Vancouver have ticketed an animal advocate for spreading awareness of animal cruelty by showing farm and slaughterhouse footage to passersby on the street. Jeff Rigear is a former undercover investigator on Canadian farms who now runs TV Outreach for Animals. Mr. Rigear sets up a 42-inch television screen on busy streets... Read more » Animal Justice

  • Cooper (formerly Fox)

    by on January 28, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Hi SCARS. Cooper has almost been with us for a year. He is a very smart obedient dog, he enjoys his morning walks and loves all his cat and dog friends. He is the perfect fit for our crazy busy family, we can't imagine our lives without him. We would like to thank SCARS for

    The post Cooper (formerly Fox) appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Here’s Why #Februdairy is Already Totally Failing

    by on February 2, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Nice try, Big Dairy. The dairy industry recently launched #Februdairy, a social media campaign aiming to promote dairy milk during the month of February. But before the campaign could even officially start, it quickly became a marketing failure. When public caught wind, the Twitter hashtag exploded with the shocking truth about the dairy industry—focusing on... Read more » Animal Justice

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