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.
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:

Feb 9, 2016

When a good news story isn't a good news story!

Chicken
Chicken

On Friday February 5th, in a surprise move, Egg Farmers of Canada announced that its members will stop using battery cages by 2036. This group represents about 90 percent of egg producers in Canada.

This is not a good news story.  This is a commitment that is no commitment at all.

Canada was just weeks away from releasing a new draft code of practice for the care and handling of egg-laying hens that would have outlined a timeline for farmers to stop using these small, inhumane battery cages…cages where 4-6 hens live with less than the space of an 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper per bird.  These hens experience chronic pain from injuries to their feet due to standing on wire floors, fractures because their bones are weak due to lack of movement, and severe frustration because they cannot express natural behaviours that are important to their wellbeing. All of this during a shortened life span of just one year, after which they are considered spent because both their production and the quality of the eggshells declines.   The welfare of hens is sacrificed to provide us with eggs.

We had many goals in sitting down at the table with egg farmers to negotiate standards of care for hens, but key amongst them was to eliminate intensive confinement in the shortest timeframe possible for the 26 million egg-laying hens that suffer in battery cages every year.

The European Union gave farmers 12 years to go cage-free, and some of the biggest players in the food industry has said it will do so in 9 years or less, so why would the egg farmers need 20 years?

We need Egg Farmers of Canada to work in good faith with The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) to make an honest move away from battery cages as quickly as possible. At CFHS, we find that a 20-year timeline is unacceptable and unnecessary.

We want you, our donors, to hear the truth from us.  This is exactly why your support has been so important.   Your donation keeps us at the table so that we can keep the pressure on.

We can’t allow announcements like this to go unchallenged. Industry is not making the decisions they need to make based on the welfare of animals. CFHS participates in negotiations on the codes of practice for other farm animals and is currently the only animal welfare organization at the table.  You keep us working to improve the lives of 26 million egg-laying hens per year.

We must improve this situation and continue to advocate for the humane treatment of all of Canada’s farm animals.

Links:

Dec 15, 2015

We will expose puppy mills in Canada!

2015 is wrapping up and we wanted to share with you two pieces of news that have been made possible through your support.   Your donations are making it possible for us to expose puppy mills for what they really are – factories churning out puppies for profit, with zero regard for their wellbeing.

In 2015 we launched our task force to gather evidence and provide expert advice about the realities of puppy mills and irresponsible breeding.   As of this month we are pleased to say that our task force now includes 6 members from across Canada (Alberta, BC, New Brunswick and Ontario) and members with expertise in investigations, enforcement, policy and outreach, veterinary medicine, and shelter animal care.

Our second piece of news is that on December 4, animals in Quebec were declared sentient beings thanks to a bill championed by Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Pierre Paradis.

CFHS was asked to consult on this bill and you can read our latest post here http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/barbara-cartwright/quebec-animal-welfare-law_b_8749820.html

Imperfect as it is, this law is a major coup -- and the fact that it passed unanimously shows that meaningful change is possible in Quebec.    Over the years, Quebec has earned a reputation for being the puppy mill capital of Canada due to its weak animal welfare laws, which have provided a safe haven for hundreds, if not thousands, of disreputable breeders.

Right now all we have are best guesses, there are no reliable Canadian statistics on the scope of puppy mills.   A conservative estimate puts the number of puppy mills in Canada in the thousands.   The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and our members want to fund a first-of-its-kind report that will expose the puppy mills that operate behind glossy websites, and innocent-looking Kijiji posts that will show Canadians the extent of the abuse that results from puppies being treated as profitable products in a country where animals aren’t adequately protected under the law.

This report will provide a first estimate of the scale of puppy mill operations in Canada and ensure that 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. 

Please subscribe to Humane News for updates on this and other stories on animal welfare and please support our critical work in creating a more Humane Canada.

http://cfhs.ca/newsletters/

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