Truth in Labelling: The Montreal SPCA Launches a Campaign for the Mandatory Labelling of Production Method on Egg, Dairy, and Meat Products

Montreal, September 2 2014 – The Montreal SPCA is launching a campaign demanding that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulate the use of animal welfare claims and impose mandatory labelling of production method on animal products.

In Canada, there is currently no regulatory oversight of the claims and images related to animal welfare that are used in the packaging of food products. Use of the claim “free-run eggs”, for example, is unregulated: producers are not required to meet any minimum standards in order to label their eggs in this fashion, and the accuracy of the label is not subject to third party verification. As a result, many consumers are choosing to purchase food products bearing certain animal welfare related claims without any real knowledge of what those claims mean, and without any guarantee that they are accurate or reliable.

Not only are animal welfare claims unregulated, but there is currently no obligation for manufacturers to disclose, through labelling, the rearing methods used in producing animal products. Thus, eggs, dairy, and meat that are produced using industrial farming practices associated with poor animal welfare, such as battery cages for egg-laying hens or gestation crates for pigs, are not identified as such. Yet mandatory labelling of production method has been successfully implemented elsewhere, such as the European Union and Australia.

“Public concern over farm animal welfare is on the rise, and consumers are increasingly willing to purchase more animal-friendly products” said Sophie Gaillard, Lawyer and campaigns manager for the Montreal SPCA’s Animal Advocacy Department. “It is crucial to ensure that the claims and images that consumers rely on in making these decisions are accurate.”

In order to persuade the CFIA to regulate the labelling of egg, dairy, and meat products, the Montreal SPCA is launching its Truth in Labelling campaign targeting Quebec consumers. Via an online quiz entitled “Food tips’’, the goal of the campaign is to encourage  consumers to think critically about the information related to animal welfare that is featured on packaging, as well as to collect 50 000 signatures for a petition addressed to the CFIA.

To sign the petition, click here.

To participate in the campaign, click here.


Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or anitak@spca.com.

About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first humane society in Canada and our mission is 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.

For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.

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