Press release – For immediate distribution

Over thirty Quebec public figures have joined the Montreal SPCA in calling for a regulatory framework governing the living conditions of farm animals in Quebec. 

Montreal, April 18, 2023—According to a recent Léger poll, 92% of Quebecers believe that a law or regulation should govern the treatment of animals raised for food on Quebec farms. The Montreal SPCA published a manifesto today, signed by over thirty public figures of various backgrounds, calling for these animals’ living conditions to finally be regulated, as is the case in many countries around the world. Stéphanie Boulay, Christiane Charette, Xavier Dolan, Michel Rivard, Patrick Sénécal and Julie Snyder, as well as several renowned scientists and researchers, have joined the movement. The manifesto was published as part of the large-scale campaign It is not because they are going to die that they don’t deserve to be protected — the Montreal SPCA is launching province-wide today. 

The issue this campaign addresses clearly doesn’t stem from the producers as individuals but rather from the system in which they operate,” says Sophie Gaillard, the Montreal SPCA’s acting executive director and director of animal advocacy and legal affairs. “The vast majority of Quebecers believe the government should step in to ensure all animals, including those raised for food production, are afforded the basic protection they deserve.” 

The protection of animals raised for food: a legal loophole 

In 2015, in response to the Montreal SPCA’s publication of the Animals Are Not Things manifesto, which garnered over 56,000 signatures, the Quebec government undertook a fundamental reform of animal protection law by adopting a new provision in the Civil Code of Québec that recognizes animals as “sentient beings,” as well as a brand-new law exclusively dedicated to animal welfare, the Animal Welfare and Safety Act

However, to this day, the way animals are treated on farms remains unregulated: “Despite adopting a new legal framework that’s supposed to protect all animals, animals raised for food are still systematically excluded from the law’s main protections,” explains Me Gaillard. “That’s why it’s perfectly legal, and even common practice, to castrate a piglet without anaesthesia, whereas if the same procedure were performed on a dog or cat, it would be punishable by a conviction and even imprisonment.” 

A self-regulating industry 

We find ourselves in a concerning situation where the industry itself has the power to determine what practices are legal or illegal, regardless of the degree of suffering that they inflict on animals,” said Gaillard. “We would never give an industry the power to define what’s legal and what’s not in other sectors; that would be an abdication of government responsibility. However, that’s what we do for farm animals in Quebec.” 

Despite being known for its progressive values, Quebec society has fallen far behind many jurisdictions around the world that adopted laws or regulations decades ago establishing mandatory standards of care for all animal species, including animals used for agricultural purposes. In Switzerland, for example, detailed regulations for each species and type of use have been developed. 

To view the manifesto and the complete list of signatories, click here


Source : Montreal SPCA

Montreal SPCA public relations officer : Jeanne Beauchamp, public relations account manager, tök communications, 514-535-0326 | ext. 201, jeanne@tokcommunications.ca

About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montréal in 1869, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (now better known as the Montreal SPCA) was the first animal-welfare organization in Canada. The SPCA has come a long way since its beginnings and is today the largest animal-protection organization in Québec, speaking on behalf of animals wherever there is ignorance, cruelty, exploitation or neglect. 

Keep in touch

Sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of our activities and get news about our furry and feathered residents.