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.
Jun 30, 2016

Action needed; secure world leading hen standards!

Chicken2
Chicken2

Barren battery cages for Canada’s egg-laying hens are on their way out 5 years earlier than expected thanks to your donations and the tenacity of negotiators from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS).  

As a supporter of our critical work to ensure the humane treatment of farm animals, we wanted to let you know that some of the most stringent standards for cage-free housing systems could be put in place for Canada’s more than 28 million egg-laying hens, standards on par with the EU and that far surpass current U.S. standards.

The work involved for CFHS representatives was significant and consisted of more than two years of thought, discussion and meetings with other stakeholders, including the egg industry. And the process is not over yet. Thank you for keeping us at the table with your generous donations. CFHS is the only animal welfare organization sitting on the egg laying hen code development committee of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). As the voice for Canada’s farm animals, we understand that there is no quick fix but that we must continue our progressive work to make lasting change.

On Thursday June 30th, NFACC released the draft code of practice for the care and handling of laying hens for public comment, which sets out the most rigorous care standards for egg-laying hens in North America.

Currently, 90% of egg-laying hens in Canada live in cramped, barren battery cages. We previously told you about an announcement from Egg Farmers of Canada on February 5, 2016, that indicated the organization’s more than 1000 member farms would be phasing out barren battery cages by 2036. Thanks to CFHS negotiators, the new 15-year timeline would see that goal achieved 5 years earlier, meaning that 129 million fewer hens will experience that kind of suffering.

Speeding the transition away from barren battery cages is the right thing to do.  We’re seeing a shift that will start to put egg producers on the right side of animal welfare science, which shows that hens experience extreme stress and frustration in barren battery cages because they are unable to express natural behaviours like dust-bathing and foraging. These cramped cages prevent hens from walking or even spreading their wings for their entire lives.

This new draft code would also see the introduction of world-leading cage-free standards in response to public concern about the lack of guidelines for how cage-free systems operate in Canada. Unregulated, cage-free housing can be just as crowded and oppressive as barren battery cages, with no enrichment for the hens and much more aggression and stress.  The new standards in this draft code will ensure that cage-free is as progressive as it sounds.

After the public comment period, the committee members (including CFHS representatives who you are funding to be at the table) will still have work to do taking any comments received to see if any further changes need to be made to the Code. We expect the final version to be published in December 2016, if all goes well.

CFHS continues to lead the charge on 3 additional codes of practice for farmed animals, which are currently in development: Bison, Rabbits, and Veal. CFHS will continue to speak up for farm animals, but we need your support to do this vital work.

Links:

Jun 14, 2016

Supreme Court decision means animals at risk!

Puppy at risk
Puppy at risk

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is shocked by the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision on Thursday of last week in which they ruled 6-1 that bestiality is only illegal if it involves acts of penetration. This horrifying loophole will remain open unless Parliament takes action to create a broader definition of bestiality under the Criminal Code of Canada. This is one of the amendments proposed by Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act, which is currently before Parliament.    To take action and work to ensure this bill is passed we need your support!

As the leader of Canada’s largest animal welfare community we are best positioned to represent you.  CFHS helped draft this bill and we have been meeting with MP’s for months and talking to the Canadian public but our voice now needs to be even louder.

Bill C-246 offers us a timely opportunity to address this egregious loophole in Canadian law.  Bestiality used to be a legal grey area, but we’re now facing a serious vulnerability for animals. We’ll likely see an increase in the sexual exploitation of animals as a result of this ruling. Parliament must act to right this wrong now.

The Liberal Government has said it wants to kill Bill C-246 in favour of a larger review of the whole Criminal Code – blatantly ignoring the fact that this Bill emerged out of a Parliamentary review of animal cruelty in Canada and has been debated for almost 20 years.  They also say the Bill requires more “public comment” – ignoring the fact that this Bill is the very same Bill that has been before Parliament no less than 13 times in the last 16 years, passed through the House of Commons 3 times and made it to third reading in the Senate. Every time it fell victim to the same animal use industry lobby and delay tactics – stalling until Parliament called an election each time. This Bill has likely had more public comment and debate than any other in Canada’s history.

There is a strong and sustained will on the part of the Canadian people to see that justice be done for animals in this country. If we all work together and raise our voices in support of this bill, the change that animals need will be possible.

Your support can go even further tomorrow June 15th thanks to Global Giving’s Bonus Day.  Starting at 9 a.m. EDT until the funds run out your donation will be matched to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies by 40% and we will have two chances to win an extra $1,000.00 if we have the highest number of donors that day or the most funds.

We are only $6,545.00 from our goal which would allow us to focus on working with the public to make these changes happen to Canada’s antiquated animal welfare laws.   If we receive just $3,927.00 from our donors the match would help us hit our goal.   Can you help us reach our goal?  Please donate early!

Links:

May 26, 2016

Changing Canada's 121 year old animal cruelty laws

Your support is paying off and while it may seem like a slow process we are making changes that will have lasting impact on animal welfare in Canada.

Thanks to your donations, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies has been working hard to press to modernize Canada’s outdated and inadequate animal welfare laws.   We can report to you that this work has reached a critical point.

We have to act now if we want to take advantage of the best chance we’ve had to modernize Canada’s animal welfare laws in over 100 years!   

On February 25, 2016 MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith brought a bill to the floor of the House of Commons that will ensure those who abuse or hurt animals get the maximum sentence possible and that all animals have a humane life and death.   Bill C-246 is an opportunity that we must act on now!  

Already fellow MP’s and special interest groups are publicly making comments that are designed to cloud the issue and confuse the public.   Those who support the bill are being called radicals and being accused of trying to destroy traditional ways of life and end all animal consumption in Canada.   Instead of focusing on making an animal’s life worth living they are focusing on interpretations and future unintended consequences of giving animals protection.

The CFHS is taking a leadership role in not only advocating for this bill to pass on Parliament Hill but in educating Canadians on how to show their support and what this bill really means.   This means not only being on Parliament Hill to answer questions for our MP's but also we need to be in front of the Canadian Public talking about the importance of these proposed changes. 

Modernizing the Criminal Code of Canada is long overdue and it is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure those who abuse or hurt animals get the maximum sentence possible and that all animals have a humane life and death.

What does Bill C-246 do for animals? 

  • It closes loopholes making it illegal to breed or train animals to fight
  • It stops people from profiting from animal fighting
  • It creates a gross negligence offence for animal cruelty making it easier to prosecute cases such as deplorable puppy mill conditions, where it can be difficult to provide that the owners wilfully intended to neglect the animals or cause harm.
  • It creates a new offence for killing an animal “brutally or viciously” regardless of whether the animal dies immediately.   You’ve heard in the news about the case of the owner who killed his dog with a baseball bat and was acquitted by the judge because the dog died immediately without suffering.  This provision closes that loophole.
  • It increases the penalty for repeat animal cruelty offences and it lets judges ban abusers from owning an animal for life!
  • It defines bestiality as sexual conduct between a human being and an animal so sexual abuse of animals can be prosecuted no matter what the act and will not be legalized because of an interpretation of the law.

Bill C-246 is an opportunity that we must act on now!  

Right now, we estimate there are more than 10 million cats and almost 6 million dogs in Canada.  More than 696 million animals are raised every year in our country for food. 

Canada offers virtually no protection for wild and stray animals and severe and on-going neglect of farm animals continues to be tolerated.

If we don’t speak for them who will?

Your donations allow us to educate the Canadian Public and mobilize them to be active and to reach out to their MP's to fight hard to modernize Canada's animal welfare laws.   

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