As part of a food safety modernization initiative, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is overhauling our decades-old slaughter regulations.
Though it’s unsurprising that the focus of the new food safety regulations is food safety, it’s concerning that the welfare of the 750 million land animals we kill for food each year in Canada reads more like a footnote than an integral aspect of the regulatory scheme.
In fact, the entire preamble that introduces the new rules (over 22 thousand words) discusses only food safety and economics. There’s not a single reference to animal welfare.
Although suspending conscious animals will be banned under the new rules, an exception is made for birds—including chickens and turkeys—even though these animals are the vast majority of the ones we kill for food (97 percent). Conscious chickens and turkeys will continue to be shackled upside-down before their heads are dragged through an electrified vat of water.