According to the Calgary Herald, an access-to-information request shows that 27 pigs froze to death while being trucked from Alberta to Metro Vancouver for slaughter in January of this year.
Documents from a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspection obtained by Postmedia News show that 25 pigs were found dead and two were destroyed because of extremely poor health. A reported 255 other pigs survived the trip, which involved temperatures as low as –10° Celsius, or 14° Fahrenheit.
The article recounts other incidents of animals dying en route to slaughter in severe weather. Sadly, it happens all too often in Canada. Every year millions of farmed animals arrive at slaughterhouses dead or so sick or injured they are declared unfit for human consumption. The cruelty they suffer would be criminal if inflicted on a dog or cat.
Multiple Mercy For Animals investigations have documented firsthand the extreme misery endured by farmed animals during transport. MFA’s 2014 investigation into Western Hog Exchange in Alberta revealed frightened animals who had been transported hundreds of kilometers in sweltering heat suffering from heat stress and dehydration. It also exposed workers using electric prods to repeatedly shock “downed” pigs.
Earlier this month, the CFIA released the long-awaited first draft of Canada’s so-called updated transport regulations. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough of an improvement.
Under the proposed amendments, livestock haulers would be permitted to transport animals through all weather extremes without food, water, or rest for up to 36 hours. Loopholes have also been added to allow animals to be transported for even longer times with no penalties to transporters.
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 harshly penalized.
Now is the time to take action for farmed animals in Canada. Click here for more information on Canada’s proposed regulations and how to tell the CFIA that they don’t go far enough.