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B.C. Egg Farm Cruelty Video Prompts Calls for Government Oversight

Animal Justice June 26, 2018

VANCOUVER—National animal law organization Animal Justice is calling for animal cruelty charges and government oversight of the animal farming industry after video footage showing extreme animal neglect inside four B.C. egg farms was broadcast on CTV News. The footage shows hens living neck-deep in deep piles of faeces, afflicted with prolapse and other injuries, and living in barren cages with severe feather loss. Many carcasses were found in cages and in the manure pit below the facility.

B.C. animal protection law, which applies to the animal farming industry, prohibits permitting animals to be in distress. It also requires animals to have adequate food, water, shelter, ventilation, light, space, exercise, and veterinary treatment; and explicitly prohibits keeping animals in unsanitary conditions.

However, these laws are not proactively enforced on Canadian farms. Law enforcement is only alerted to potential animal welfare problems upon receiving witness complaints from members of the public—which is unlikely to happen when cruelty and neglect occur inside windowless industrial farm facilities on private property. Although the federal government regulates animal welfare in transport and slaughterhouses as part of its food safety mandate, there is virtually no oversight of animal welfare on farms.

“In our experience, extreme neglect is the norm inside Canada’s industrial farms,” said lawyer Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy for Animal Justice. “Laws are supposed to protect animals from cruelty and neglect, but in practice, these laws are rarely enforced against industrial farms. That’s largely because cruelty and neglect are totally invisible to any potential witnesses.”

“The industry touts its codes of practice as setting out animal care standards, but even these weak codes of practice often go ignored. This is an industry that has proven itself incapable of self-regulation. The government needs to regulate and monitor farms, create transparency in the sector, and proactively prosecute legal violations to deter the most extreme cases of cruelty and neglect.”

Some of the suffering animals who were removed from the egg facility to be taken to the vet are now living in their rescuer’s back yard with access to shelter, bedding, nests, and a large yard to explore. Despite their limps and amputated beaks, these lucky hens have regained their health, energy, and feathers.

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The CTV story can be seen here.

For more information, contact:

Anna Pippus
Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy
apippus@animaljustice.ca

 

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New PEI Laws Force Circus to Cancel Horse Performances

Animal Justice June 19, 2018

CHARLOTTETOWN—National animal law organization Animal Justice says that PEI’s tough new anti-circus laws have stopped a circus coming to Charlottetown this week from including animal acts.

Super Circus Spectacular is scheduled to do two shows at the Eastlink Centre on Thursday, June 21. According to a Facebook event listing for the Charlottetown tour stop, “energetic animals” were set to perform. When Charlottetown resident Hilary Wood messaged the circus to ask what animals they would bring, the circus responded that they would bring horses.

PEI cracked down on circus cruelty last year when the province passed the new Animal Welfare Act. Now, no exotic animals like elephants, bears, and tigers can be used. Only a small number of domestic animals like cats, dogs, horses, and some birds are still permitted, subject to strict conditions. Circuses must obtain a license 180 days in advance of a show, obtain extensive insurance coverage, and create and provide a detailed escape and recapture plan.

After complaints from Ms. Wood and Animal Justice, the provincial Department of Agriculture advised that Super Circus Spectacular does not have a circus license, and will not be allowed to engage in horse or other animal performances in Charlottetown this week.

“Forcing animals to perform for human entertainment is cruel, degrading, and incredibly outdated,” said Camille Labchuk, lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice. “Circuses around the world are closing down due to plummeting public interest, concerns over animal mistreatment, and the risk to public safety. PEI now has some of the toughest anti-circus legislation in the country, and this is our first chance to see it in action.”

Animal Justice will send inspectors to Super Circus Spectacular to ensure it does not attempt to include horses or other animals in its Charlottetown shows this week.

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For more information, contact:

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director
camille@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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Advisory: Animal Justice Joins MPs to Call for End to Senate Deadlock on Animal Protection Bills

Animal Justice June 19, 2018

OTTAWA—MPs from across federal parties will hold a press conference to address the Senate deadlock on three animal protection bills—all of which are being blocked from reaching third reading before the Senate rises for the summer.

The parliamentarians will be joined by non-profit organizations advocating for animal protection.

Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Time: 10:45 am

Where: Charles Lynch Press Theatre, Room 130-S, Centre Block

Who:

  • Elizabeth May, MP, Saanich Gulf Islands and leader of the Green Party

  • Michelle Rempel, Conservative MP, Calgary Nose Hill

  • Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Liberal MP, Beaches—East York

  • Fin Donnelly, NDP MP and Fisheries Critic, Port Moody—Coquitlam

  • Camille Labchuk, lawyer and executive director, Animal Justice

  • Julie MacInnes, campaign manager, Humane Society International / Canada

Background:

Bill S-203, the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act, is sponsored by Independent Senator Murray Sinclair. It was introduced in December 2015, then stalled repeatedly before passing second reading in November 2016. After extensive study in 17 meetings before the Senate Fisheries Committee, a committee report was presented to the Senate in October 2017, and adopted in April 2018.

Bill S-214, the Cruelty-free Cosmetics Act, was introduced by Conservative Senator Carolyn Stewart Olsen in December 2015. A committee report was presented to the Senate in October 2017, and adopted in February 2018.

Bill S-238, the Ban on Shark Fin Importation Act, was introduced by Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald in April 2017. After study by the Fisheries Committee, the Senate adopted the committee’s report in February 2018.

Contact:

Camille Labchuk

Executive Director

camille@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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  • Evie

    by on May 4, 2018 - 0 Comments

    I've had a crazy week. I was picked up by some SCARS volunteers during a Spay Neuter Return pick up. You see, I was a stray that some nice people were feeding and trying to care for but I was not eating and refused to come inside so they asked for help. The SCARS volunteers Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Loki (formerly Trip)

    by on May 4, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Hi, SCARS! I adopted Legolas through SCARS five years ago, and there hasn’t been a dull moment since!  Last month we added Trip (now Loki) to the family. Lego is very excited to have someone to play with now, and he and Loki are having a lot of fun together! I’m so grateful to SCARS Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

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    by on April 29, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Just look at my fat little babies!! They are a pretty amazing crew that almost didn’t happen! You see, I was hit by a car just days before they were born and by some absolute miracle they weren’t harmed. I can’t quite say the same about myself. Though nothing is broken, I will need more Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Max (Formerly Bullet)

    by on May 8, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Hi SCARS! We wanted to give you an update on Max (formerly Bullet). We celebrated his 1st birthday today and his 3 month anniversary of being with us. He is the perfect addition! He loves to cuddling and going for walks. He could entertain himself with his Kong for hours and has a blast running Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Animal Justice Will Intervene in Lawsuit Challenging Ontario Animal Protection Laws

    by on April 23, 2018 - 0 Comments

    PERTH—National animal law non-profit Animal Justice has been granted intervener status in a lawsuit that attempts to strike down key aspects of provincial animal welfare laws and their enforcement. The case, Bogaerts v. Attorney General of Ontario, is a constitutional challenge to Ontario’s provincial animal welfare legislation and its enforcement. Specifically, the applicant is asking the court... Read more » Animal Justice

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