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Animals Are Freezing To Death on Canadian Slaughter Trucks Right Now

Animal Justice January 5, 2018

Canada is experiencing an especially frigid winter, with temperatures feeling as low as -40° C even in southern parts of the country like Toronto.

Many people will ride out this cold snap in the comfort of their homes, or bundle up if they must face the frosty outdoors. Environment Canada issues extreme cold weather alerts to protect people from frostbite, cities open up warming centres for homeless individuals, and schools even cancel outdoor recess periods when the temperature plummets.

But for the millions of chickens, pigs, and cows trucked to slaughterhouses everyday in Canada, it’s business as usual—even in frigid extremes.

Canadian animal transport slaughter truck slaughterhouse livestock

Animals are routinely transported to slaughter in open-sided vehicles, with no heating systems to protect them from the dangerous cold.

Canada’s animal transport laws are among the weakest in the western world, and there are no restrictions that lay out minimum or maximum temperatures in which animals can be transported. In brutally cold weather, animals routinely arrive at slaughter frostbitten or even dead from weather exposure. Workers at Canada’s largest slaughterhouse, Maple Lodge Farms, which kills half a million chickens every day, have described chickens arriving to slaughter, frozen solid like “hockey pucks” and “popsicles”. Government statistics show at least 1.59 million animals arriving dead at slaughterhouses every year.

Canada’s outdated transport laws haven’t been revised since the 1970s, and a recent proposal by the federal government to update the rules still fails to restrict animal transport during extreme weather, or require climate control for trucks.

Existing transport laws are ineffectively enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and even when investigations and prosecutions do take place, penalties are not strong enough to motivate industry to protect animals from the cold. Maple Lodge Farms, for example, has been repeatedly convicted and fined for allowing animals to freeze to death, yet still operates using the same inadequate trucks.

In 2018, Animal Justice will continue to fight archaic transport laws, and to protect millions of animals from the extreme suffering they endure on Canadian farms.

To help, please sign up to our mailing list and stay tuned for ways to get involved.

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Animal Justice

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Here’s Why Thanksgiving is a Nightmare for Turkeys

Animal Justice October 9, 2017

On Thanksgiving, many Canadians give thanks for the wonderful things in our lives, including friends, family, and health.

But turkeys killed and eaten for Thanksgiving dinner have nothing to be thankful for. Raised in appalling conditions on Canada’s industrial turkey facilities and shipped to slaughter, their lives are bleak and filled with suffering.

Turkeys are curious, friendly, and sensitive birds with big personalities. But in Canada, 20 million turkeys are killed for food every year—many of them destined for Thanksgiving meals.

Undercover footage has exposed brutal conditions, abusive transport, and botched killing in the turkey industry. In one exposé of a Kitchener, Ontario turkey farm, workers were seen punching, throwing, and kicking birds, hitting them with metal rods and shovels, and crushing their spines.

And footage from a turkey slaughterhouse in Abbotsford, British Columbia shows painful, botched killings. Multiple turkeys are improperly stunned, thus fully conscious when their throats were slit with a metal blade. Many birds missed the blade, and were then dragged vats full of boiling water to remove their feathers. This killing process is standard in the turkey industry.

Earlier this year, Animal Justice filed a legal complaint with authorities after a witness documented bleeding and injured birds bring trucked to slaughter. Turkeys can be shipped in open-sided vehicles, exposed to blistering heat and frigid cold, for up to 36 hours—all without food, water, or rest. Canada’s weak transport laws are infrequently enforced.

 

Disturbingly, there are no federal regulations protecting turkeys and other farmed animals from horrific suffering while on farms. Please join Animal Justice in asking the federal government to regulate on-farm conditions for animals, and help spread compassion for turkeys by sharing this post!

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Animal Justice

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Coalition of Animal Protection Groups Call for Change to Farmed Animal Transport Regulations

Animal Justice November 3, 2014

calfOn the heels of a Mercy For Animals Canada investigation exposing profound animal suffering and complicit government inspectors at a pig assembly yard in Alberta, a coalition of animal protection organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Canadians are urgently renewing calls for the federal government to update Canada’s archaic animal transportation regulations.

“Permitting egregious animal suffering is inconsistent with the values of Canadians from all across the political spectrum,” said Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy with Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund. “It’s past time for the federal government to bring our farmed animal transport regulations into line with Canadians’ expectations and the laws of rest of the Western world.”

The animal protection movement has been calling for such change since the 1980s, pointing out that Canada lags behind the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States with the protections afforded to farmed animals in transit.

The federal government has yet to update the outdated regulations, despite promising to do so for more than a decade. Canadians have expressed shock, outrage, sadness, and plain confusion that our government is so reticent to afford animals common-sense welfare protections.

The letter has been signed by leaders from Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund, Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals, Humane Society International/Canada, Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, Vancouver Humane Society, Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, and Animal Alliance of Canada.

View the letter to Minister Ritz here.

Visit our blog and read this report to learn how Canada’s weak and outdated animal transport laws condemn millions of farmed animals to suffer and die.

Animal Justice

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