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.
May 10, 2016

Critical negotiations to end painful practices

The next three months will be critical at the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies as we have several Codes of Practice at stages where decisions will be made and where we need to be present and working to ensure that Animal Welfare thinking is moving forward.

The CFHS is a founding member of the National Farm Animal Care Council (a federally funded organization) where we negotiate directly with the farming industry to set welfare standards for animals on farm.  

Thanks to your last donation, we are entrenched in deep negotiations with egg laying hen farmers in Canada in order to end the use of battery cages for the 26 million egg-laying hens that suffer in battery cages every year.  If you remember our last report the Egg Farmers of Canada announced that its members will stop using battery cages by 2036 when one of our biggest goals was to eliminate intensive confinement in the shortest timeframe possible.   At CFHS, we find that a 20-year timeline is unacceptable and unnecessary.  We are in the final stages where changing the code of practice putting an end to the use of battery cages can happen.

In June the Code of Practice for the care and handling of chickens and turkeys used solely for meat will be finalized.  ur commitment is that we will continue to advocate for an end to intensive confinement and painful practices for all farm animals not only on the farm but while being transported and during slaughter.

Politically we are up on Parliament Hill meeting with Parliamentarians and bureaucrats to get Canada’s current animal transport regulations updated.  Our current regulations are decades old and inadequate by modern standards. They allow cattle and sheep to be transported for up to 52 hours continuously with no food, water or rest. Pigs, horses and birds can be transported for up to 36 hours. And there is no requirement for animal transporters to have any training on how to handle animals humanely or to drive safely with them on board.

Throughout Canada each year, approximately 700 million farm animals are transported from farm to auction and slaughter. As many as two million of these animals, mostly chickens, are found dead on arrival. Many more arrive sick or injured following their long, grueling journeys.

Because of your donation in April we hosted over 300 people for a National Animal Welfare Conference in Toronto, the largest conference of its type in Canada.    During the conference we had two full days dedicated to farm animal welfare which included presentations by the Co-Chair of the House Agriculture Committee Joe Peschisolido and a thought provoking plenary by Dr. David J. Mellor of the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, in New Zealand.  Dr. Mellor presented a plenary that talked about the journey in gaining knowledge of animal welfare and applying it in ways that improve our care of animals so that we move Beyond the Five Freedoms Towards A Life Worth Living.   

As CEO of the Federation, I am proud of how much we are accomplishing together.   I want to include a special thank you because you see that making change happen is not a short term goal and that it will take all of us working over a number of years to make a difference.

Links:

Feb 12, 2016

One puppy mill shut down but much more to do!

Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill

On Thursday of last week I was horrified, as I’m sure you were, to find out about the latest seizure of dogs from a puppy mill, this time operating in Langley B.C.

Sixty-six suffering dogs were found with broken limbs, missing eyes or ears, infections, abscesses, malnourishment, dental disease and psychological issues living in deplorable conditions un-cared for and neglected with fur caked in feces.  

According to the BC SPCA, 34 puppies and 32 adult dogs were living in small crates and cages stacked in dark, unheated buildings with dangerous ammonia levels resulting from accumulated urine.

It’s been reported that some of the puppies produced in this environment were being sold for upwards of $1,000.00 and were some of the most expensive and sought after breeds of dogs.   This family-run operation was nothing more than a factory churning out puppies for profit, with zero regard for their well-being.

This situation cannot continue!     We are seeing over and over again this type of operation pop up across the country and our members having to step in and seize these animals who have endured a horrendous life.

We have no reliable Canadian statistics on the scope of puppy mills; all we have are best guesses.   We have to expose the puppy mills that operate behind glossy websites and innocent looking Kijiji posts.  Canadians need to understand the extent of abuse that results from puppies being treated as commercial products in a country where animals aren’t adequately protected under the law.   We have to educate consumers who are purchasing these animals to make the right choice and to help us stop puppy mills.

This report will ensure everyone who cares about this issue will have solid arguments and numbers to use in their work towards better laws and policies in Canada. This kind of research has been needed for years and, at CFHS, we're doing something about it.   This report will help us understand how big the issue is in Canada and provide solutions’ to address it.

 

As a national organization with no core funding, we can't take on a project of this size without donations from the public. That's why you’re support has been so important and we hope we can continue to count on you to make this project a reality.     We’ve been able to take the first steps but we need to make concrete progress and we need to make it now.

Your donation will help shut puppy mills down.

Rough Dog
Rough Dog

Links:

Feb 12, 2016

Can we keep up the momentum for change in 2016?

Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill

You have already shown your dedication to helping improve conditions for animals in Canada – whether they are on the farm, in the wild, used in research, or our companions at home!

We want you to know your donation made 2015 a landmark year! Together, we are making Canada a more humane nation, and your support will keep that momentum going.

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) turns 60 next year and we are proud to be Canada’s national organization representing SPCAs and Humane Societies in your local communities – some of the oldest and most trusted organizations in our country.

It’s not always easy being at the forefront of animal welfare in Canada. We have to change attitudes, confront cultural beliefs and stay focused on the big picture to make lasting changes. Your gift means so much, even more than you may realize!

2016 is just beginning but already we are working closely with one of our newly elected MPs to bring in a bill to update the Criminal Code of Canada. We expect to see it hit the floor in the next couple of weeks.  We are also working with two senators to bring bills forward to ban cruel and unnecessary cosmetic testing and to end the captivity of whales and dolphins.

Sadly, almost every day we hear stories about animals being abused. Canada’s federal animal cruelty legislation hasn’t been adequately updated since 1892, but our relationship with animals has changed dramatically in the last 124 years – and we need to protect them with strong, modern laws.

We saw the results of our work just this week when a 32-year-old Ontario man, Michael Earl Hill, received the highest sentence possible imposed for animal cruelty. The sentence of 2 years in federal prison and a 25-year-ban on having pets was issued for taping a dog’s muzzle shut with electrical tape, binding its legs and leaving it to die in a field. This sentence is the second time in two years that a full, 2-year imprisonment penalty was given, which means we’re making good progress. Do you remember the case of Breezy, a black Labrador-shepherd mix brutally and viciously beaten by Steven Helfer of Ottawa in September, 2013? Our work to update the Criminal Code was cited by the judge when she handed down the first 2-year prison sentence for animal cruelty. What we’re doing is working – we’re changing minds and evolving expectations.

As CEO of the Federation, I am proud of how much we are accomplishing together.  I wanted to send you a special thank you because you see that making change happen is not a short-term goal. It will take all of us working over a number of years to create the changes we want to see.

Links:

 
   

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