Canada Goose ditches fur, the cultivated meat industry is on a roll, France requires vegetarian options, New Zealand bans live-animal exports, and more. The first half of 2021 brought many advances for the benefit of animals.
Cultivated meat and plant-based protein in the spotlight
Since Singapore gave the green light to the sale of cultivated meat in late 2020, one of its restaurants is already serving customers chicken nuggets produced using this method. Then, in February 2021, the Israeli start-up Aleph Farms unveiled the first ribeye steak grown using its proprietary bioprinting process. This technique will eventually allow them to recreate any piece of meat without the need to raise and slaughter animals.
In addition, Protein Industries Canada, a non-profit organization led by the plant protein industry, recently announced its participation in funding a $7.9 million project focused on plant protein manufacturing for Canadian food companies, like Daiya Foods and Merit Functional Foods.
Vegetarian options in France’s schools and public administration
In April, France adopted several measures that will help change the future of food in the country. These include requiring school cafeterias to offer one vegetarian meal per week, offering daily vegetarian options in private and state-run public catering canteens, public establishments, and national public company canteens, and requiring culinary curriculum to teach about the importance of eating more plant-based foods.
New Zealand bans live animal exports by sea
On April 14, New Zealand banned the export of live cattle, sheep, deer and goats by sea. Enduring excessively long journeys in crowded conditions, animals frequently suffer pain, exhaustion and stress during transport. The new measure will phase out this practice over a two-year period.
The United Kingdom may recognize animals as sentient
In May, the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill was introduced in the House of Lords as part of the UK government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare. If passed, the Bill will recognize vertebrate animals as sentient beings. This concept will be taken into account in the development of government policy thanks to the formation of an Animal Sentience Committee. This legislative advance echoes the 2015 amendment to the Quebec Civil Code, which states that animals are not property, but rather sentient beings with biological imperatives.
The UK’s action plan also calls for the introduction of laws and regulations in other key areas affecting animal protection, including the international animal trade and the treatment of wild, farmed, companion and sporting animals.
The Senate of Canada recognizes the link between animal and human abuse
In early May, the Senate passed Bill C-3, An Act to Amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code after accepting a proposal by Humane Canada to include the link between human and animal abuse in judicial training. In fact, severe and frequent abuse of animals has been associated with more severe and frequent abuse of women by their partners. Judges deliberating sexual violence cases will now hold a greater contextual understanding of the relationship between domestic violence and other forms of abuse in the home, including violence against animals.
Making fur history!
The breeding and keeping of animals for their fur will officially be banned in Estonia as of January 1, 2026. On May 30, Estonia became the fourteenth European country, following the likes of the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium, and the first Baltic state to ban this commercial activity.
In other great news, winter apparel manufacturer Canada Goose announced on June 24 that it will stop using fur by the end of 2022 in all its collections. This is a huge step towards ethical and sustainable fashion and another major blow to the declining fur industry. The Montreal SPCA encourages Canada Goose to also ditch the use of down and put an end to all animal suffering.
Imported cosmetics no longer required to be tested on animals in China
As of May 1, 2021, China no longer requires animal testing for commonly used cosmetics imported into the country. The measure affects most personal care products, such as makeup, lotions, shampoos and body soaps. Since China is the second largest beauty market in the world, this new policy is a major step forward and is expected to accelerate the end of animal testing worldwide.
- Visit the Montreal SPCA’s website to learn about how the sale of turtles, the keeping of backyard chickens and the housing crisis impact animals.
- Watch these videos produced by Rad on the work of the Montreal SPCA Investigations Division and the life stages of a farmed pig in Quebec.
- If you’re curious about plant-based and cultivated meat, sign up for the Good Food Institute’s free online course, which offers a fascinating overview of the subject.
- Ask the Government of Canada to ban mink fur farming across the country by signing this petition.
- By the end of 2021, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is planning to establish an industrial dairy farm with over 2,000 goats at the Joyceville federal penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario. Sign this petition calling on the Government of Canada and the CSC to permanently cancel this project, which is currently on hold, in the name of human, animal and environmental rights.
- Sign this petition asking Kijiji Canada to ban the sale of animals on its site and promote adoption from shelters or through a responsible placement process.
- Advocate for cultivated meat policies in Canada with your MP by volunteering for Reimagine Agriculture, an organization whose goal is to transform the Canadian agricultural system by addressing ethical, environmental and human health concerns.
- If you think it’s time to transition towards a plant-based food system for the good of the animals, human health and the planet, sign Nation Rising’s petition calling on the Canadian government to end factory farming.
- The Montreal SPCA also encourages concerned citizens to speak up and reach out to their elected officials, at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, regarding any animal protection issue that is important to them.