The Montreal SPCA asks the public to take a stand against cruelty in farm animal transport

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur

Montreal, October 14, 2014 – On Saturday, CTV’s news program W5 aired “These Little Pigs”, a report which revealed shocking images from a hidden-camera investigation inside Canada’s animal transport industry. The investigation was undertaken by Mercy for Animals Canada and documents the cruel reality of how pigs are transported across Canada.

The footage shows pigs too sick or injured to even stand being painfully shocked with electric prods, kicked, beaten, and dragged; animals in pens so overcrowded that they climb over one another; frightened animals transported hundreds of kilometers in sweltering heat, suffering from heat stress and dehydration; and workers using bolt cutters to cut through the sensitive tusks of male pigs without any painkillers. All this takes place in plain view of inspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the federal agency charged with enforcing animal transport regulations. To view the W5 report, click here.

“As difficult as the images filmed during the undercover investigation are to watch, consumers need to understand how their purchasing decisions can directly affect the lives of animals” said Sophie Gaillard, Lawyer and Campaigns Manager for the Montreal SPCA’s Animal Advocacy Department. “We fully support the efforts of Mercy for Animals Canada in exposing the cruelty behind farm animal transport in this country”.

Canada’s current animal transport regulations allow for animals to be transported up to 52 hours without food, water, or rest periods.  Animals are typically transported in overcrowded conditions, with no protection from weather conditions, even when these are extreme. Over 8 million animals a year die during their journey to slaughter. In addition, livestock drivers in Canada are not required to have any animal handling training. As Mercy for Animals’ investigation shows, even when government officials witness violations, they often fail to act to protect animals. For more details about the horrors of farm animal transport and the investigation undertaken by Mercy for Animals Canadaclick here.

Please join the Montreal SPCA, Mercy for Animals Canada, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and other animal protection organizations across the country in asking the federal government to adopt stricter animal transport regulations. Here are ways you can make a difference now:

  • Ask the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, to promulgate stricter animal transport regulations by signing Mercy for Animals Canada’s petition.
  • Educate friends and family about the cruelty behind farm animal transport by sharing Mercy for Animals Canada’s undercover investigation on social media.
  • Reduce or eliminate your consumption of pork and other animal products.

Media Contact: Me Sophie Gaillard, 514-735-2711 ext 2248, or sgaillard@spca.com


About the SPCA: The Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was the first humane society in Canada, founded in Montreal in 1869. Guided by the humane ethic, it is the mission of the SPCA to:

  • protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation;
  • represent their interests and ensure their well-being;
  • raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings.

Our role is to prevent cruelty to animals through a number of actions that benefit animals and humans. Visit our web site at www.spca.com

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