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Welfare Groups Accuse Canada of Misleading Claims

by 5m Editor
24 February 2009, at 8:19am

CANADA - Six national animal welfare groups have come together to denounce statements made by the government to European counterparts about the protection afforded to livestock in Canada.

Prior to meetings in mid-January, the Canadian delegation distributed documents to Members of the European Parliament claiming that "Canada is committed to, and has a long history of setting humane standards for animal welfare."

"From Malaysia to Great Britain, from South Africa to the Philippines, advancements are being made in the field of animal welfare. In Canada animals are still not protected from basic acts of cruelty," said Olivier Bonnet, Country Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, "Canada has been recognized as a leader in many fields but has not demonstrated the capacity in the foreseeable future to take animal protection and animal welfare seriously."

"Nowhere are the words "animal welfare" even mentioned in Canada's new $1.3 billion five-year agricultural policy, Growing Forward Framework Agreement. That's a clear indicator of lack of interest in farm animal welfare by the federal government," said Stephanie Brown, Director for the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals.

"Canada is one of the worst places in the industrialized world for animals," said Rebecca Aldworth, Director of Humane Society International/Canada. "Our outdated animal protection laws facilitate serious abuses of animals. From the beating and shooting of seal pups to the proliferation of puppy mills, to the mass force-feeding of geese and ducks to the widespread use of leghold traps – millions of animals are routinely subjected to extreme cruelty in Canada."

"Canada is still in the dark ages when it comes to animal welfare. Most Canadians believe animals should be treated humanely, so it's time our laws reflected that fact", said Robert Laidlaw, Director of Zoocheck Canada Inc.