ELECTIONS: Prioritizing animal welfare, a necessity for the next government
Montreal, October 16, 2019 – With the upcoming federal elections on October 21st, the Montreal SPCA is inviting the public to join it in exerting pressure on political party leaders to commit to making animal welfare a priority in Canada. “Canada is lagging behind most European countries, Brazil and India in terms of animal protection. The World Animal Protection organization gives Canada a score of D, which is very poor, yet, there is no mention of animal welfare issues in this election campaign,” says Sophie Gaillard, lawyer and Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “This is why we are urging the next government to make a commitment now to better protect animals.”
In only a few days, more than 7,000 people have shown their support for the requests made by the Montreal SPCA, which are to:
- End animal testing in the cosmetics industry
- Ban the cruelest animal husbandry practices
- Adopt stricter regulations for the transport of animals intended for human consumption
Request no. 1: End animal testing in the cosmetics industry
Ms. Gaillard specifies that “while Canada’s Food and Drugs Act does not require cosmetics to be tested on animals, skin irritation, safety and toxicity tests continue to be conducted on rabbits, rats, hamsters, mice and guinea pigs. During these tests, animals are force-fed a product or a concentrated dose is applied to their shaved skin or directly into their eyes over a period of several days.”
Several countries, including Israel, New Zealand and member countries of the European Union already prohibit cosmetic testing on animals. Canada must join them in banning these cruel and unnecessary tests without delay. Last spring, Bill S-214, which aims to ban cosmetic testing on animals as well as the sale of products tested on animals, was under consideration in the House of Commons, but the dissolution of Parliament in view of the upcoming elections halted its adoption. The Montreal SPCA is therefore urging the next government to reintroduce this bill and firmly commit to adopting it without delay.
Request no. 2: Ban the cruelest animal husbandry practices
In Canada, farm animals receive virtually no legal protection. Several practices that seriously compromise the welfare of animals raised for food, such as being confined in very small spaces and systematic mutilation without anesthesia or analgesia, are still widespread in Canada even though they are prohibited elsewhere in the world. This is why the Montreal SPCA is asking that firm phase-out dates be set to eliminate these cruel practices.
Request no. 3: Adopt stricter regulations for the transport of animals intended for human consumption
Anually across Canada, more than 800 million farm animals are transported to auctions and slaughterhouses. Nearly two million of these animals die during transport and an estimated 12 million more are injured or become ill along the way. “Despite their recent revision, the provisions of the Health of Animals Regulations, which aim to protect animals during transport, fall considerably short. The regulations do not specify how much space each animal must have during transport to prevent injuries and keep them from being trampled or gored by a horn. Moreover, the maximum allowed intervals during which animals can be transported without food, water or rest—up to 36 and even 72 hours—greatly exceed what is permitted in other countries. In EU countries, animals that will be travelling for more than eight hours must be loaded on trucks equipped with automatic water dispensers. Furthermore, while it is now standard in Europe, Canadian regulations do not require that transport vehicles be climate controlled or equipped with any kind of temperature monitoring system, thus exposing animals to frostbite in the winter and heat stroke in the summer. Canada can and should do better,” says Ms. Gaillard.
The public is invited to make itself heard
“There are many animal welfare issues that need to be addressed, but adopting Bill S-214, legislating on animal husbandry practices and improving animal transport regulations are the first steps towards making a true difference for animals,” concludes Ms. Gaillard.
Canadians who want their government to commit to better fighting animal cruelty are urged to make themselves heard by showing their support for the Montreal SPCA’s three requests, which will be presented to the elected prime minister.
To sign, visit: spca.com/elections-2019
Source: Montreal SPCA