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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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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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How to Lobby Your Political Reps to Support Plant-Strong Eating Recommendations

Animal Justice December 5, 2017

Earlier this year, Health Canada published much-anticipated draft revisions to Canada’s outdated food guide. The proposed healthy eating recommendations would encourage Canadians to eat “vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein-rich foods, especially plant-based sources of protein” and to mostly eat unsaturated fat (found in plant-based foods) over unsaturated fat (found mostly in animal foods).

The proposed healthy eating recommendations would also eliminate the outdated food category and serving size / number format, instead setting out easy-to-follow, culturally-inclusive eating principles. Notably, dairy would no longer have its own food group—a sensible move considering up to 90 percent of some ethnicities cannot digest mammalian milk after infancy.

Unhealthy diets rich in animal foods cost the Canadian economy billions in health care costs and lost productivity. Researchers at McGill University have found that shifting Canadians towards a healthful, more plant-based diet is better for our economy.

And of course, the meat, dairy, and egg industries are a nightmare of cruelty for the 771 million land animals killed in Canada in 2016 alone.

The meat and dairy industries are concerned that the proposed healthy eating recommendations will hurt their bottom lines because Canadians will consume fewer animal foods. In fact, a recent investigation in the Globe and Mail showed that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has been lobbying Health Canada on industry’s behalf. Officials from AAFC warned that, “Messages that encourage a shift toward plant-based sources of protein would have negative implications for the meat and dairy industries.”

If you agree that Canadians deserve healthy eating recommendations that promote our health and longevity, not the short-term economic interests of a few politically powerful industries, take action! Here’s what to do:

Contact your local federal member of Parliament and ask to set up a meeting. Not sure who that is? Find out here.

Review this document, prepared by Animal Justice, outlining the health and economic case for Health Canada’s proposed eating recommendations.

Print two copies of the above document and bring along to your meeting—one to leave with your MP, and one for yourself to refer to.

Contact us afterwards to let us know how your MP responded!

 

Thank you for taking action for animals, our environment, and the health of all Canadians.

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

  • Jade’s Story

    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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