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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 saturated 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.

 

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Animal Justice

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Have Your Say: Canadian Government Might Ban Advertising Cheese To Kids

Animal Justice July 26, 2017

As part of the Healthy Eating Strategy, Health Canada is proposing to restrict the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children. Two approaches are being considered:

  • Option 1: banning advertising food to children if it exceeds 5 percent of the daily value of saturated fat, sugars or sodium; or
  • Option 2: banning advertising food to children if it exceeds 15 percent of the daily value of saturated fat, sugars, or sodium.

Under option 1, companies couldn’t advertise sugar-sweetened yogurt, cheese (even if calorie-reduced), or ice cream (among other foods) to children under the age of 17.

Under option 2, companies couldn’t advertise sugar-sweetened yogurt, most cheese, or ice cream to children under the age of 17. However, they would be allowed to advertise calorie-reduced cheese to children.

Tell the government to go with option 1! The dairy industry has successfully duped children and families into believing that cheese, chocolate milk, and sugary yogurt are a healthy and essential part of the human diet. By disguising their marketing as education, Canadian dairy lobbyists have even snuck their commercial interests into schools. In fact, these saturated fat-laden foods compromise health and can contribute to a lifetime of preventable illnesses like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

The dairy industry is also heartbreaking for animals. Mother cows endure back-to-back pregnancies, having each of their babies taken away at birth so humans can take the milk instead. The babies are isolated and killed for veal or used as dairy cows themselves. The mothers are genetically selected to produce unnatural quantities of milk, and often suffer from painful infections (mastitis). When their bodies weaken from the demands of constant pregnancies and lactation at only about a quarter of their natural lifespan, the mother cows are killed for hamburger meat.

Currently in Canada, there are no federally regulated restrictions on the marketing of food to children. But building on a strong body of evidence, in 2010 the World Health Organization (WHO) Member States, including Canada, released a set of recommendations calling for policies that reduce the impact of marketing to children of foods high in saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

The Healthy Eating Consultations are open until August 14, 2017.

 

Animal Justice

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