Canadian Federation of Humane Societies

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is the national organization representing Humane Societies and SPCA's in Canada. We bring together those who work with and care for animals to promote respect and humane treatment toward all animals. Our vision is our long term desired outcome for our organization and for animal welfare in Canada. Our mission guides our actions and defines our approach to move towards that vision. Our values are the principles and approaches with which we do our work.
Mar 13, 2017

Ban on cetaceans in captivity at critical stage!

Former Senator Wilfred Moore explains Bill S-203
Former Senator Wilfred Moore explains Bill S-203

On Tuesday February 28th, I watched as the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans heard its first testimony on Bill S-203, short titled Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act. This bill, introduced in December 2015, seeks to phase out the cruel practice of keeping whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity — which is happening now in two facilities in Canada — a privately owned, commercially-driven amusement park (currently defending itself in court against 11 animal cruelty charges) in Niagara Falls, ON and a public aquarium located in Vancouver, BC.

Former Senator Wilfred Moore explained Bill S-203 to the standing committee and detailed the innumerable reasons that Canada should end the captivity of whales, dolphins, and porpoises for good.

We are thrilled that this Bill has successfully proceeded to the Standing Senate Committee process and will continue to move forward under the sponsorship of The Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair, Manitoba's first appointed Aboriginal judge and former chair of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as Mr. Moore has retired.

As Bill S-203 continues to be debated at the committee level we will hear from marine welfare experts and scientists from around the world as they come forward to share their testimony in support of this Bill.

However, we already have concerns about committee members who have made it clear that they are not in support of this Bill some even seeking to suppress debate and scientific evidence on this issue.

Scientists across the globe have strongly condemned the captivity of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, known collectively as cetaceans, as captivity rarely meets their biological, social and behavioural needs, causing them grievous harm.

The aquarium industry attempts to justify the captivity of these creatures by claiming that their facilities make important contributions to science and conservation, but specialists in the field indicate that this is a blatant falsehood.

There are only two sites in Canada that currently continue to house cetaceans and on March 10 the Vancouver Park Board announced that they are preparing a bylaw banning cetacean captivity in city parks after the death of the last two belugas at the Vancouver Aquarium, housed in the park, last fall.

Thank you for your support which allows us to continue to work to ensure that this ban extends right across Canada.

Beluga whales at the Vancouver Aquarium
Beluga whales at the Vancouver Aquarium

Links:

Mar 10, 2017

Farm animals should not suffer in transport!

Farm Animal: Pig
Farm Animal: Pig

Each and every year more than 700 million animals are transported in Canada. These animals are subject to the most alien and stressful experience of their lifetime. Closed into confined spaces, shoulder-to-shoulder with each other, these animals can be transported in some cases, like cattle and sheep, for up to 52 -hours continuously with no food, water or rest.  They can endure multiple off-and-on loadings, are deprived of a means to relieve themselves and are denied protection from heat, cold and excessive weather. For every long, hard journey like this, Canada’s animals are at an ever-increasing risk of stress-induced illness, injury and death.  As many as two million of these animals, mostly chickens, are found dead on arrival. 

The Canadian Federal Government has finally released the long awaited draft animal transport regulations in an effort to put an end to the staggering mistreatment of animals in transit. Unfortunately, what is proposed is not enough.  The draft regulations, which include transportation conditions for both farm and companion animals, fail to properly address the need for humane practices in four categories: food, water and rest, animals unfit for transport, equipment and conditions, and humane handling.

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies asked the public to let their voices be heard.  Now that the public comment period is over, we know that we still have more work to do reviewing the input from Canadians and ensuring that any changes made to the Code of Practice improve animal welfare gains.   We cannot relax our work as we ensure that the changes Canadians felt were important end up reflected in the way animals are transported.

As well in 2017 we expect to see the release of a new code of practice will be released for egg laying hens.  We fought hard to ensure that the draft Code of Practice has the most rigorous and stringent standards for cage-free housing systems put in place in North America, standards on par with the European Union and which far surpass current U.S. standards.  We'll update you as soon as the code is released.

Your donation keeps us at the table working to ensure farm animals are treated humanely.

Links:

Dec 2, 2016

Some great news for farm animals!

As the holidays approach many of us are looking forward to spending time with family and friends and with our beloved pets. It is a time of gratitude and reflection, love and compassion.

I was walking my dog Gus after we had a fresh snowfall recently, and it just brought a smile to my face to watch his excitement. But it also reminded me that not every animal has the safety and protection of being part of a loving family - not every animal can count on someone standing up for them when they need it.   

That’s why we do the work we do at the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CHFS), we stand up for every animal and I feel blessed to know you have been behind us this year.  Your donation put us on Parliament Hill fighting to change our woefully inadequate animal cruelty laws and at the table to press for reforms to the way animals are raised on farms for our use.

Thanks to your donations, we were able to accomplish some incredible things in 2016!

  • We have ended a painful and unnecessary surgery called tail docking for dairy cows.  It was a lengthy and complex negotiation, and their lives are now better.
  • We are almost at the end of the process that will see the new Code of Practice for egg laying hens released. We fought hard to ensure that the draft Code of Practice has the most rigorous and stringent standards for cage-free housing systems put in place in North America, standards on par with the European Union and which far surpass current U.S. standards.   It has taken two years of negotiations to get to this point, and now that the public comment period is over, we know that we still have more work to do reviewing the input from Canadians and ensuring that any changes made to the Code of Practice improve animal welfare gains.
  • Through our direct work at the negotiation table, 2016 saw relief brought to piglets who must now receive pain relief during procedures such as castration and tail docking – regardless of their age.

Can I ask you to take a minute today and make your gift to Canada's largest movement for animal welfare to help us make the animals raised on farms a priority so that they do not suffer and they enjoy a life worth living?

Canada lags shamefully behind many other countries when it comes to animal welfare, and CFHS is pushing hard for improvements at the national level. Our collective voice is being heard and, because of your support, we are building momentum.

But there’s more to do and with your help we can keep pressing for better practices, better conditions and more ambitious timeframes.  

Every time you donate to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, you are helping us win the fight for the highest levels of animal welfare in Canada.  You help us represent the values of Canadians and show our policy-makers that animals and their well-being matter to people across this land.  Thank you for trusting us to be your powerful voice for animals!

With a donation you can help us make the animals raised on farms a priority so that they do not suffer and they enjoy a life worth living.

Your donation will ensure five simple things for farm animals:  

1) Access to fresh water and a diet that maintains their health

2) Appropriate shelter and a comfortable resting area

3) Prevention and rapid diagnoses of injuries and disease

4) Sufficient space and proper facilities so they can express natural behaviours and the   

    company of their own kind and;

5) Conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

CFHS continues to lead the charge on three additional Codes of Practice for farmed animals, which are currently in development.  We can only stay at the table and continue to speak up for farm animals with your monetary donation to support this vital work.

Sincerely,

Barbara Cartwright

Chief Executive Officer

P.S.  I want to wish you a happy and prosperous 2017 and let you know that we will continue to fight for what you’ve told us is important to you, a Canada where all animals have a life worth living.   

 
   

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