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Animal Justice Urges Government to Fund Animal Testing Alternatives & Plant-Based Food

Animal Justice August 9, 2018

Animal Justice is urging the federal government to fund innovative industries that save the lives of animals by creating humane, animal-free products. Specifically, Animal Justice is asking the government to invest in developing alternatives to animal testing, and invest in growing Canada’s burgeoning plant-based food sector.

The federal government is currently consulting on 2019 federal budget priorities, focused on economic growth and ensuring Canada’s competitiveness. Animal Justice’s submission, filed last week, suggests opportunities that improve life for animals while supporting animal-friendly economic opportunities.

Animal Justice is seeking funding for the new Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM). The first of its kind in Canada, CCAAM was set up at the University of Windsor in 2017, and has a mandate to develop and promote scientific research, teaching, and toxicity testing methods that do not require the use of animals.

Canadian researchers used over 4.3 million animals in cruel experiments in 2016, an increase of over 20% from 2015. Conventional medical research relies heavily on animal models of disease, even though it is difficult to reliably translate results in animals over to human patients because of significant biological differences between humans and other animals. Scientists around the world are already at work developing animal-free methods because they are more reliable, accurate, and cost-effective. Not only do these animal-free alternatives spare millions of animals from death and suffering, they also represent a significant economic opportunity for Canada as the field grows.

Animal Justice is also asking the government to invest in the plant-based food industry, which is growing at an astonishing rate. People are incorporating more plant-based food products in their diets to protect animals, human health, and the environment. A preliminary draft of Canada’s new Food Guide, released in 2017, also suggests a shift toward recommending that Canadians eat more plant-based foods.

The global meat alternatives market is valued at $4.33 billion and is expected to reach $6.43 billion by 2023. Meanwhile, the global plant-based milk market is set to reach $16.3 billion by the end of 2018.

The federal government has already recognized the economic potential of the plant-based sector, investing $150 million in the industry through the Innovation Superclusters Initiative in 2017.

Canada is already one of the largest producers of flaxseed, canola, oats, and durum wheat, and the third largest producer and exporter of pulses, with the highest yields in the world. With further government investment, Canada is well-positioned to become a powerhouse in the field of plant-based protein. The exponential growth of the plant-based market promises to create a more profitable and competitive economy for Canada, as well as ensuring long-term sustainability in the changing economic landscape.

Have your say! Contact your Member of Parliament to urge them to include animal-friendly initiatives in the 2019 federal budget.

 

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Whistleblower Faces a Criminal Trial for Exposing Mink Farm Suffering

Animal Justice August 2, 2018

A whistleblower who exposed horrific suffering on multiple Ontario fur farms will face a criminal trial. Malcolm Klimowicz was charged with break and enter earlier this year for visiting a mink farm near Oshawa, Ontario and filming the disturbing conditions that he found there.

Prosecutors in Oshawa confirmed on Thursday that they will take the criminal charge of break and enter to trial and will not withdraw the case against him.

The undercover video footage gathered in 2017 by Mr. Klimowicz shows heartbreaking suffering on multiple Ontario fur farms. Injured and dead minks are seen confined in tiny wire cages in filthy conditions, with piles of feces, puddles of urine, and crawling maggots. Minks were frequently overcrowded in the barren cages, suffering from open wounds, and many of them displayed repetitive behaviours that indicate severe psychological distress.

The shocking video footage was submitted to authorities and investigated. Disappointingly, no charges were laid against any of the fur farms in question, despite evidence of unimaginable cruelty in violation of federal and provincial laws. The only charge laid to date is the break and enter charge against Mr. Klimowicz himself, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

 

Mink Trial

Courtesy of Malcolm Klimowicz 

This is not the first time the police and prosecutors have gone after an animal advocate for exposing animal suffering while ignoring the industries that abused animals in the first place. The hashtag #MinkTrial is already spreading on social media, reminiscent of Toronto activist Anita Krajnc’s notorious #PigTrial. Ms. Krajnc was acquitted of criminal mischief for giving water to thirsty pigs, but her trial made global headlines and exposed millions of people to cruelty in the farming industry. The #MinkTrial will undoubtedly increase public awareness of cruelty inherent in the Canadian fur industry.

Fur farming is largely unregulated in Canada, with few, if any, standards for the conditions under which animals must be kept. Fur farm cruelty runs rampant, as documented by Mr. Klimowicz as well as during another cross-country undercover investigation in 2014.

Mr. Klimowicz is accepting contributions toward his legal defence on his crowdfunding page, and supporters are invited to stay tuned for details on a rally outside the Oshawa courthouse on October 22, 2018.

 

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See How Many Animals Canada Killed for Food This Year in Real Time

Animal Justice August 2, 2018

A new website exposing the truth about the number of animals killed by the meat industry has just launched in Canada. Animal Clock, already available in the US and the UK, raises awareness about the vast number of animals raised and slaughtered for food, breaking down slaughter numbers for each type of animal commonly killed on modern farms.

Animal Clock features a live calculator showing how many animals are being killed by the Canadian meat industry. Nearly all of the animals slaughtered were first raised on commercial farms, where physical and emotional suffering and deprivation is the norm. Animals are confined in large, crowded barns. They experience painful procedures such as debeaking and castration without anesthetic, and many animals never see the light of the sun or breathe fresh air until the day they are shipped to the slaughterhouse, often at only a few months of age.

The startling number of animals slaughtered in Canada each year is a wake-up call.

 

SEE ANIMAL CLOCK

 

In 2017, Canada killed over 800 million land animals for food. This is up from 771 million in 2016, as people are eating less cows but more chicken flesh. Chickens are smaller animals, so more of them must be killed to produce the same volume of meat.

Animal Clock also acts an advocacy tool, empowering citizens to stand up against the cruelty of the meat industry. The site explains how Canada’s legal system fails animals, why our laws are among the worst in the western world, and calls out the government for blocking many attempts to improve our laws.

In the “You can make a difference” section, Animal Clock breaks down how people can get change the world for animals by sharing information with others, getting politically active, voting with their wallet, and reporting animals cruelty when they see it.

Finally, the site highlights the plant-based movement that is rapidly expanding across the country. A cultural shift away from meat consumption to plant-based eating is good news for animals, human health, and the environment. Now that’s something to celebrate!

See the new Canadian edition for Animal Clock here.

 

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