Over 300 cows were seized in Canada after Animal Protection Services of Saskatchewan (APSS) found a herd of starving cows with little to no water or shelter. Many in the herd were already dead. The substantial number of animals, along with the vast area of land involved, made this the largest cattle seizure in APSS history.
APSS was alerted to the situation after receiving complaints of cows suffering and wandering through people’s private property. They noted that the animals lacked adequate water, food, or shelter. The situation was considered so severe that the investigation was fast-tracked to only three weeks. APSS executive director Don Ferguson stated:
Cattle were taken into protective custody and delivered to a caretaker and examined and treated by a veterinarian.
While this story is heartbreaking, it is not unique. In Canada and the United States, there is very little government oversight protecting the billions of land animals raised for food each year, meaning that protection agencies step in only during extreme situations—such as this one. This is likely because the meat lobby is VERY powerful, making legislation difficult to pass. In the United States, not a single federal law protects animals during their lives at factory farms. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act pertains to cows and pigs only at the slaughterhouse.
Even worse? The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act specifically excludes “poultry” from consideration. That means chickens and turkeys—the majority of the land animals killed for food in the United States—have few to no federal protections against cruelty and neglect. And legal protections for fish in the United States are minimal. In many cases, fish are specifically excluded from animal protection laws, whether they’re raised as pets, research subjects, or food.
Without meaningful laws to protect these animals, it’s up to us all to do away with products that involve animal suffering. Start making a difference today by downloading our free veg starter guide.