Today, Eyes on Animals met with Stephanie Brown, a director and co-founder of one of the Canadian organizations (CCFA, Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals) in the Eyes on Animals International Taskforce. We updated each other on our work on the projects the taskforce members are working on together. Stephanie was pleased to report that, after providing a lot of Dutch material on the subject and writing letters about it, the topic of phasing out castration without anesthesia has been placed on the agenda for the upcoming revision of the Canadian Pig Farming Code.
As well, she has had some success with a large Canadian grocery chain that, thanks to her hard efforts, is selling a line of more animal-friendly eggs and labeling them accordingly. They have, together with CETFA (our other Canadian partner organization in the taskforce), started a very successful campaign to ban sow gestation crates in Manitoba by 2017, which the Manitoba Farmers Union is even in support of. Their short video about gestation crates and the cruelty associated with them was shown on Manitoba TV during the Stanley Cup hockey game, which hundreds of thousands of Canadians watch!
Animal transport legislation in Canada however has still not been improved, with monogastric animals (like pigs and poultry) still permitted to be transported up to 36 hrs and ruminants (like cattle and sheep) 52 hrs without water, feed or rest. More and more Canadian activists are inspecting and filming livestock trucks now that organizations like CCFA and CETFA have made the suffering of animals during long-distance transport known. A video was recently published by local activists showing extremely thirsty and overheated pigs arriving at a slaughterhouse in Toronto on July 21st during a record-high of 38 degrees Celcius. These actions at least have resulted in added pressure on government and industry.
We discussed some other ideas to handle the on-going animal welfare problems associated with transport, such as spreading the Eyes on Animals police and truck-driver training program to Canada and encouraging Canadian transport companies to at least install drinking systems on their vehicles. We will continue to work with each other, and coordinate our European veterinarian and industry contacts that are forward thinking to assist them when needed.