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Here’s Why Animals Keep Burning to Death in Canadian Barn Fires

Animal Justice April 18, 2018

Between January 2015 and November 2017, more than 470,000 farmed animals burned alive on Canadian farms. These animals would have endured frightening and agonizing deaths, trapped in cages or stalls with no chance to escape the smoke and flames.

Most buildings in Canada must follow strict fire safety rules, but farm buildings with “low human occupancy” don’t. Modern farms can contain tends of thousands of animals whose ability to experience physical pain and emotional suffering is no different than our own, but because human occupancy is the standard, very few fire safety requirements exist to protect them.

Tragically for animals, farm buildings are dangerous fire hazards and disaster is inevitable. Animals are trapped inside, with no escape route. There are no fire detection or extinguishing systems in place, like sprinklers. Farm buildings are usually in rural areas, far from fire hydrants, fire stations, and the volunteer firefighters who respond from home. Wiring and electrical equipment is easily damaged by rodents and rampant indoor air pollution. Barns are often filled with flammable straw and wood, flammable gases from animal waste, and dangerous equipment like heat lamps. Despite the extreme risk to animals, fire safety inspections, and prevention plans still aren’t mandatory.

The current National Farm Building Code is being revised, but animal protection isn’t one of the guiding principles. This is a glaring absence! Animals trapped in barns must be protected from needlessly burning alive.

Please sign this Parliamentary petition to Canada’s federal government asking them to consider the animals when they revise the farm building fire safety rules. Thank you to Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals for sponsoring this petition.

Animal Justice

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Vancouver Aquarium Drops Copyright Lawsuit Against Filmmaker

Animal Justice March 8, 2018

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Aquarium has dropped its copyright lawsuit against filmmaker Gary Charbonneau. The Aquarium filed a notice of discontinuance in the case this week, shortly before CEO John Nightingale was set to be cross-examined by counsel for Mr. Charbonneau.

The Aquarium first filed the copyright infringement lawsuit against Mr. Charbonneau in 2016 over his documentary Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered, which exposed the Aquarium’s cruel practice of confining sentient whales and dolphins in concrete tanks. The lawsuit was deemed a misuse of copyright law by legal experts, designed to suppress public criticism and debate through the court process.

The Aquarium sought to have the entire documentary removed from the internet, and was successful in obtaining a preliminary injunction ordering that certain segments be removed. On appeal, the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned that injunction, emphasizing the importance of Mr. Charbonneau’s freedom of expression.

Animal Justice intervened in the appeal to express concerns that the case could negatively affect the ability of animal advocates to film, expose, and publicize animal cruelty issues across Canada, emboldening secretive animal use industries to file illegitimate copyright lawsuits to silence animal advocates. This could prevent them from investigating, documenting, and exposing hidden animal cruelty.

“I am delighted this frivolous lawsuit has finally been dropped,” said Mr. Charbonneau. “However, I remain troubled by the Aquarium’s aggressive litigation strategy, and I am concerned they will continue to fight losing legal battles at the expense of conservation and rescue.”

“We are glad the Aquarium has finally determined to drop its unmeritorious lawsuit and let the documentary speak for itself, so that Canadians can make their own judgments about the ethics of the Aquarium’s practices,” said Arden Beddoes of Arvay Finlay LLP, counsel to Mr. Charbonneau.

“This lawsuit had disturbing implications for those who investigate, document, and expose animal cruelty,” said Camille Labchuk, a lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice. “The writing is on the wall for the cruel captivity industry, as the public no longer supports keeping sentient animals confined for entertainment.”

The Aquarium also sought judicial review of the Vancouver Park Board’s bylaw banning them from keeping whales and dolphins in Stanley Park. The bylaw was overturned last month, but the Park Board is appealing to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

-30-

The Notice of Discontinuance is available here.

For more information, contact:

Gary Charbonneau
evotioninc@gmail.com

Arden Beddoes
Arvay Finlay LLP
abeddoes@arvayfinlay.ca

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director, Animal Justice
camille@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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Vancouver Chicken Slaughterhouse in Trouble for Endangering Animal Advocates

Animal Justice January 25, 2018

At Animal Justice, we use the law to help animals. Sometimes that means using animal protection laws, but often it means using other laws, unrelated to animals, to hold industry accountable and shine a spotlight on the abuse animals endure. If you can’t get the mafia for murder, get them for tax evasion, right?

In addition to being a nightmare for animals, slaughterhouse work is notoriously dangerous and abusive for workers. Occupational health and safety regulations are frequently engaged by workers suffering from injuries on the job.

The family of a worker from Hallmark Poultry slaughterhouse in Vancouver even sued the company for wrongful death after Bao Min Cheng died of a heart attack following a 13 hour shift. In court documents, the family stated that Hallmark hires non-English-speaking Chinese migrants and has them working up to 70 hours per week.

In recent years, Vancouver residents have increasingly attended vigils at Hallmark to observe and document the crates of animals in their last moments before slaughter. Witnesses are able to stand in a public alley between Hallmark buildings to get an up-close view of the killing operations, and interactions with slaughterhouse officials have been tense, with animal advocates repeatedly assaulted.

Last summer, Hallmark employees were seen driving forklifts carrying crates full of live chickens held high in the air. They even drove the forklifts straight over bystanders’ heads, which is illegal because of the obvious danger it creates. Workplace safety regulations require forklift operators to keep even non-live loads close to the ground out of safety concerns.

With the assistance of Animal Justice, courageous witnesses reported the violations to Work Safe BC, the agency responsible for workplace safety. According to inspection reports obtained under freedom of information legislation, the slaughterhouse has now been reprimanded for its dangerous conduct and ordered to retrain its employees on safe forklift handling requirements.

From the inspection report, Hallmark has now directed “operators that, should they be confronted by persons attempting to block or disrupt their travel, they will refrain from attempting to go forward and will move to a safe location, maintain distance from those person(s), and ensure the lift truck load is grounded.”

This is a small victory for animals and those who speak up for them. If you need assistance reporting violations of any legislation that governs animal-use facilities, please contact us.

 

 

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Animal Justice

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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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