Canada’s Proposed Transport Regulations Still Leave Farmed Animals to Suffer

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently released the long-awaited first draft of Canada’s so-called updated transport regulations. 

The proposal comes after years of lobbying by Mercy For Animals, multiple undercover investigations, and petitions signed by tens of thousands of compassionate individuals asking for a complete overhaul of the outdated and ineffective transport regulations, which are widely regarded as the worst in the Western world. Unfortunately, the proposed revisions don’t do enough to improve them.

Under the proposed amendments, livestock haulers will be permitted to transport animals through all weather extremes without food, water, or rest for up to 36 hours, and loopholes have been added to allow animals to be transported for even longer times with no penalties to transporters.

Due in large part to Canada’s outdated livestock transport regulations, every year millions of farmed animals arrive at slaughterhouses dead or so sick or injured they are declared unfit for human consumption, and are forced to suffer cruelty that would be considered criminal if inflicted on a dog or cat.

Multiple MFA investigations have documented firsthand the extreme misery endured by farmed animals during transport.

An investigation of Western Hog Exchange in Alberta showed frightened animals transported hundreds of kilometers in sweltering heat, suffering from heat stress and dehydration, and workers using electric prods to repeatedly shock “downed pigs.

See for yourself:

And an investigation at Maple Loge Farms, the largest poultry slaughterhouse in the country, showed birds frozen to death in transport by a company already under a court order for transport violations.

Watch the video here.

A recent independent survey found that 90 percent of Canadians believe that animals should not be transported for longer than eight hours without food, water, and rest; animals should be protected from weather extremes; and companies that violate these basic standards should be severely penalized. While we applaud the CFIA for finally starting the process of revising Canada’s woefully outdated livestock transport regulations, the proposed regulations fail to adequately address many of the most critical issues facing animals during transport.

Please take action!

Please email the CFIA’s national manager, Dr. Cornelius F. Kiley ([email protected]), and Canada’s minister of agriculture and agri-food, Lawrence MacAulay ([email protected]), and tell them that the proposed regulations don’t go far enough. The government is accepting comments until February 15, 2017, so act now! In your email, please refer to one or all of the following points:

1. Thirty-six hours on a vehicle without food, water, and rest is far too long. Forcing animals to endure such journeys is cruel and will undoubtedly result in intense suffering. We call on the CFIA to reduce the length of time that animals can be transported without food, water, and rest to no more than eight hours. In cases in which transport will exceed eight hours, journeys must be no more than 24 hours and animals must have continuous access to food and water during transport.

2. The proposed weather protection regulations are only enforceable after animals have suffered, sustained injury, or been killed by extreme weather conditions. The CFIA must include clear onboard temperature limits, between 5 and 30°C, and require transporters to install temperature sensors in key areas of transport vehicles.

3. The proposed land transport overcrowding regulations are only enforceable after animals are trampled, injured, or killed. The regulations must include concrete species-specific limits on the number of animals who can be loaded onto a transport vehicle.

Thank you for taking action on behalf of Canada’s farmed animals.