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Deplorable State of Animal Welfare on Canadian Farms

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PORKER

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TORONTO - Canadian livestock industries are coming increasingly under fire for the deplorable state of animal welfare on Canadian farms.

But instead of responding by improving animal welfare standards, they are resorting to good old-fashioned public relations to solve the problem -- and the federal government is using your tax dollars to help them.

Pressure is mounting on Canadian meat, dairy and egg producers to pull up their socks in the animal -welfare department. The U.S.-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has already been successful in getting American food retailers to pay more attention to farm animal welfare and is starting to pressure Canadian food retailers to follow suit.

Canadian food retailers -- who, unlike producers, are answerable directly to the public -- have been nudging producer groups to take a more proactive approach to farm animal welfare.

That is why, for the past few years, representatives of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, representing the major grocery chains, and the Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association have been quietly making their presence known at producer meetings across Canada.

On the international front, farm animal welfare is poised to become a serious trade issue. In May, the Paris-based OIE (World Animal Health
Organization) -- the World Trade Organization's adviser on animal health matters -- approved new international standards for farm animal Transport and Slaughter, with production standards next on the agenda. Trade barriers loom if Canada cannot demonstrate to its global customers that its farming methods are humane.

In response to these growing pressures for enhanced animal welfare, the Canadian livestock industry has responded with the creation of the new National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). However, one look at the new agency tells you it is not about improving farm animal welfare, but rather for putting a positive spin on the status quo.

The business plan for the NFACC says its purpose is to monitor trends in the marketplace, respond to consumer concerns and "provide benefits to industries" affected by farm animal care matters throughout the value chain.

Nowhere in the plan do the terms "humane" or " animal welfare" appear. Nor does the plan make any reference to improving living conditions for farm animals , only to verifying existing practices. The new agency is industry-controlled, with each livestock group appointing a representative.

The agency's animal welfare standards are based on national "codes of practice" for animal care -- weak, voluntary standards that have been around for ages and entrench some of the cruellest farming practices imaginable:

The confinement of five or more laying hens in a cage the size of a television; the confinement of male dairy ("veal") calves in wooden stalls so small the animals cannot turn around; and painful surgical practices such as castration, branding and de-beaking performed without painkillers.

As European nations are busy making real improvements in living conditions for farm animals -- including bans on the use of cages in the pork and egg industries and tighter transport regulations -- Canadian livestock industries are opting for public relations as a means of addressing growing public criticism.

They are being aided and abetted in this smoke-and-mirrors exercise by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), which has committed $314,827 to the new agency.

At the same time the NFACC is being developed, individual livestock industries are adopting their own animal care programs as add-ons to existing on-farm food safety programs. An example is the Canadian Pork Council's newly unveiled Animal Care Assessment program. Like the NFACC, it will do little to advance farm animal welfare in Canada.

The program is voluntary and it endorses practices considered so cruel they are being banned in other parts of the world, including the use of "sow stalls." Measuring just two feet wide, sow stalls are heavy metal cages used to confine breeding sows their entire adult lives. They are so small the pregnant animal is unable to turn around and is forced to eat, sleep, urinate and defecate all in one spot. Even though sow stalls have been banned in the U.K. and will soon be banned throughout the European Union, they are considered acceptable under the Canadian pork industry's new animal care program.

Clearly, Canadian livestock industries are not serious about improving the living conditions of 650 million animals raised for food each year in Canada. They should therefore not be surprised if one day consumers force their hand.

Stephanie Brown and John Youngman are founding members of the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals .
 

Bill

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What's your point Porky or do you believe these fringe groups allegations? :roll: :roll: :roll:
 

PORKER

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Would The EU, not being stupid cause trade barriers ? What happens when an if Canada cannot demonstrate to its global customers that its farming methods are humane,Bill ?
 

redriver

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Canada doesn't supply a heck of a lot of meat to the EU, you moron, so who cares what they think? Canada does ship quite a bit to the US, and our treatment of animals is light years ahead of your country. We don't feed chicken **** to our beef, and our hog barns, dairy farms, and whatever else you can think of are cleaner and better run than the US counterparts.
 

PORKER

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I figured I would get this response as this post came from Rangeland web site down under an the Brazilain site Agropro.I didnt like it either as I live next to Canada an buy great Murray Grey seedstock there.
 

Bill

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PORKER said:
I figured I would get this response as this post came from Rangeland web site down under an the Brazilain site Agropro.I didnt like it either as I live next to Canada an buy great Murray Grey seedstock there.
Canada's livestock production is every bit as humane as the US is. Actually according to some more so. Depends on which fringe wacko tree hugging group happens to be lobbying the loudest in which country.
 

Tam

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Funny this article mentions transportation. In Canada we have laws about the treatment of animals to the point that it is illegal for any Canadian producer to load an animal that is not stable enough to make the trip without doing down during transport. If it is loaded and found hurt it better be headed to the closest VET for medical attention. If caught the transporter is heavily fined. Transporters are not going to take a chance on loading an unstable animal and having to detour to a vet if she goes down on the truck. Time is money and they don't want to waste that kind of time on one 50 cent cow.

This article states Branding is inhumane to animals but didn't the US just put a trade restriction on Canadian cattle saying we have to BRAND them with a C A N so the US consumer know that the animal came from Canada. The Canadian industry have made it MANDITORY to tag all cattle so if a disease is discovered in an animal we have a way of tracing that animal. We also age verify our animals so under thiry months is exactly that UNDER thirty months. We are always looking at ways to improve the safety of our product so how can this writer state
However, one look at the new agency tells you it is not about improving farm animal welfare, but rather for putting a positive spin on the status quo
. or
Clearly, Canadian livestock industries are not serious about improving the living conditions of 650 million animals raised for food each year in Canada.
I would have to say this was written by some anti meat of any kind writer. This article should show you just how far they will go to discredit an industry that cares very much for the animals they raise.
 

Broke Cowboy

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Having been on my share of ag operations on both sides of the border, I have yet to see anything that would make me think the average producer is an abuser.

I happen to believe the average consumer believes the animals s/he eats is raised properly - as do I.

It just costs money to do it any other way.

B.C.
 

greg

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What a bunch of B.S that was . I'm with Bill on the tree hugger wakos, these people seem to have an awful lot of say yet have never stepped foot on an animal operation. Would like to see them at calving time when checking cows every few hours then tell me how inhumane we are..... that goes for ranchers on BOTH sides of the border.
 

PORKER

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Anybody got a address for these two as I would like to give them a SLICE of my thoughts and a mind whipping, (Stephanie Brown and John Youngman are founding members of the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals ).
 

Bill

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PORKER said:
Anybody got a address for these two as I would like to give them a SLICE of my thoughts and a mind whipping, (Stephanie Brown and John Youngman are founding members of the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals ).
The best thing that any of us can do is not spread this sort of article as that's exactly what they want done.
 

Broke Cowboy

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PORKER said:
Anybody got a address for these two as I would like to give them a SLICE of my thoughts and a mind whipping, (Stephanie Brown and John Youngman are founding members of the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals ).

Well, I believe it is a money grab - start an organization and appeal to the uneducated masses for money.

You asked - here is what I found:

CONTACT INFO
Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals (CCFA)

213-33 Hazelton Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M5R 2E3

Toll-free tel: 1(866) 303-CCFA (2232)
Local tel & fax: (604) 266-9749

e-mail: [email protected]

Call their toll free number from a pay phone and just leave the phone off of the hook - they pay by the minute!

B.C.
 

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