Ottawa – On Wednesday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency published updates to its livestock transport regulations, which still fail to address the leading causes of suffering and death for millions of animals during transport each year. CFIA’s updates include the following
- Animals can still be transported up to 36 hours without food, water, or rest, and if animals are provided with food, water, rest, and “adequate” ventilation on board, there are now no limits on transport time.
- Animals can still be transported in extreme temperatures characteristic of Canadian summers and winters, with possible violations considered only after animals have died of hypo- or hyperthermia.
- Animals can still be packed into trucks with enough room to move only their heads.
- Animals can still be loaded and unloaded with electric prods, which are proved to cause animals stress and pain.
By comparison, in the European Union animals can be transported up to only eight hours without food, water, or rest. The EU also enforces clear temperature limits for transport and species-specific stocking densities.
Undercover exposés by Mercy For Animals, including hidden-camera footage of Alberta’s Western Hog Exchange, have repeatedly documented the abuses farmed animals are subjected to during transport in Canada. Maple Lodge Farms, Canada’s largest poultry producer, was even convicted of causing undue suffering to thousands of chickens who froze to death in transport.
The following statement is attributed to Leah Garcés, president of Mercy For Animals:
No animal deserves to be crushed to death in a crowded transport truck or to die from dehydration or exposure to blistering heat or freezing cold. Eight out of 10 Canadians agree that regulations should be put in place to reduce the suffering of animals in transport, such as protecting animals from weather extremes and providing them with food and water during the trip. Regulations must be clear enough to be enforceable and, hence, allow for strong penalties when companies violate these basic standards. We urge the CFIA to reconsider these woefully inadequate regulations and reopen them for review in two years to align Canada’s practices with modern animal transport regulations.
To view undercover video of cruelty that animals endure during transport in Canada, visit Transport.MercyForAnimals.org and MapleLodgeHarms.ca.
Mercy For Animals’ full recommendations are available here.