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Complaints Filed With Authorities After Bleeding Turkey Witnessed on Transport Truck

Animal Justice June 7, 2017

DUBLIN, Ontario – Animal cruelty complaints have been filed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after a witness documented a turkey with a bleeding foot and chest aboard a transport truck.

Ontario law requires animals to be transported in a way that ensures their physical safety. Federal agriculture laws prohibit exposing animals to undue suffering during transport.

The treatment of animals used for food during transportation has been in the public spotlight recently as the federal government has moved to update its 40-year-old transport regulations. Advocates criticize the regulations as permitting animals to suffer in crowded, unventilated, uninsulated trucks without access to food, water or rest. Transportation is so stressful that more than a million animals arrive at slaughterhouses dead each year in Canada, while millions more suffer from injuries and exposure.

“Our laws are supposed to provide basic protection to all animals, but they aren’t being properly enforced,” said Anna Pippus, lawyer and director of farmed animal advocacy for Animal Justice. “If a dog was found in a car bleeding profusely and in obvious pain, the offender would be charged right away. Turkeys can suffer just like dogs can, and they’re entitled to the same legal protections.

“Farmed animals routinely endure egregious suffering in the course of business-as-usual farming practices. While society debates the ethics of farming animals, the least we can do is enforce the laws on the books to protect animals from illegal, preventable suffering.”


A copy of the complaint can be found here.

For more information, contact:

Anna Pippus
Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / Djurattsalliansen

Animal Justice

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Authorities Investigating After Witness Documents Blood Streaming from Cow Transport Truck

Animal Justice September 1, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, ON—The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating after a witness saw blood streaming from and caked onto the side of a transport truck at a rest station. Video footage shot at the scene shows a cow with a gaping, bleeding wound aboard the truck, which had Manitoba plates.

Witness Amber Gionet said: “I couldn’t believe how much blood I saw all over the truck, with even more blood coming out of a cow’s open wound. It was heartbreaking to see these gentle and curious animals in such an ugly situation. They deserve so much better than to be injured and forgotten on a transport truck in the middle of the night.”

Ontario law prohibits animal cruelty, and specifically requires animals be transported in a way that ensures their physical safety and welfare. Federal law prohibits over-crowding animals or transporting injured animals, and requires trucks to be free from protrusions or other construction flaws that injure animals.

Veterinarian Maureen Harper reviewed the video footage and said: “This wound appears to be quite severe and the animal would be suffering. Possible causes of the wound are overcrowding, or sharp protrusions or fittings on the vehicle; or it could have been an older wound that was re-opened in transit. This incident needs to be investigated.”

The witnessed reported the incident to the Ontario SPCA which declined to open an investigation, instead instructing the witness to call the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). OMAFRA in turn instructed the witness to call the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Lawyer Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy for Animal Justice, said: “Canadian animal welfare laws are notoriously weak and under-enforced. This is a case-in-point of how egregious animal cruelty slips through the cracks. We see far too much farmed animal suffering chalked up to business as usual, while law enforcement plays hot potato with animal cruelty reports.”

Animal transport laws are under scrutiny right now as an Ontario woman stands trial for giving water to heat-stressed pigs aboard a transport truck—she has been charged with criminal mischief for interfering with the farmer’s property, his pig. Canadian transport laws are decades old and have been widely criticized for being the worst in the Western world. Drivers aren’t required to have any animal welfare training or licensing.


For more information, please contact:
Anna Pippus
Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy

Animal Justice

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Canadians Protest Cruel Farm Animal Transportation Practices on Global Day of Action

Animal Justice August 29, 2016

VANCOUVER, CALGARY, TORONTO — Animal advocates held demonstrations across the country on Monday to condemn Canada’s outdated farmed animal transportation rules, which subject animals to brutal and often fatal conditions. The events are part of an international day of action with more than 70 cities participating, from Tanzania to Indonesia to Buenos Aires.

Last week, a criminal trial began in Burlington, Ontario for animal activist Anita Krajnc, who gave water to dehydrated pigs aboard a transport truck. She has been charged with criminal mischief for interfering with the farmer’s “property”—the pigs. Part of her defence is that Canada’s transport laws are outdated and under-enforced. The case is receiving significant international media coverage.

Canada’s transport regulations are decades old, lagging behind all other Western countries. Animals are exposed to extreme weather, shocked with electric prods, and trucked long distances without food, water, or rest. Some animals suffocate or are injured from the intense crowding. Drivers aren’t required to have any animal welfare or handling training.

The demonstrations are being held on Monday, August 29th:

  • Toronto: Intersection of Yonge and Dundas, S.W. corner, 1 – 3 p.m. (Event link.)
  • Calgary: Harry Hays Government Building, 2240 4th Avenue S.E., 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. (Event link.) Note: this event will focus on live horse export from Calgary to Japan.
  • Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, 12 – 1 p.m. (Event link.)

Former Canadian Food Inspection Agency veterinarian Dr. Maureen Harper says: “Canadian farm animal transport regulations are woefully inadequate and outdated. And unfortunately, there are too many instances in which existing regulations are not being enforced. As a result, far too many animals are forced to endure needless suffering during transport.

Lawyer Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy for Animal Justice, says: “Canada’s decades-old transport regulations are the worst in the Western world and a national disgrace. The federal government is responsible for 750 million vulnerable farmed animals each year, yet it inexplicably refuses to update the welfare regulations or ensure compliance with the weak laws we do have.”

The Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals has initiated a Parliamentary petition, sponsored by Liberal MP Alexandra Mendès, calling for the Minister of Agriculture to modernize Canada’s transport regulations. So far it has garnered five thousand signatures.

In 2014, CTV’s W5 aired secretly recorded footage showing animals being beaten and kicked by transport personnel, injured animals being shocked with electric prods, and animals so crowded they were forced to climb on top of each other. Federal law enforcement agents were present but failed to act.

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For more information about Canada’s outdated transportation regulations and how they stack up to those of the European Union, please see here and here.

These events are being coordinated as part of Compassion in World Farming’s Not Freight global day of action. For more information, please visit the event site at www.NotFreight.org.


Stephanie Brown, director, Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals

Maureen Hurly, organizer, Canadians Against Live Export

Dr. Maureen Harper, veterinarian

Anna Pippus, lawyer and director of farmed animal advocacy, Animal Justice

Animal Justice

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