The current animal cruelty sections of the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) are shockingly out of date. The wording of the CCC is largely unchanged since it was written in 1892 and enacted by Queen Victoria. The CCC affords greater protection for cattle and other working animals “kept for a lawful purpose” and as such provides almost no protection for wild or stray animals. It is extremely difficult to prosecute cases of neglect, such as puppy mills because of paradoxical wording in which the prosecution must prove “wilful neglect”.
If nothing is done to enhance the current provisions in the CCC, dogs across Canada will continue to be exploited for profit with little to no protection under the law.
The CFHS is currently working with Canadian politicions to develop a comprehensive dog protection law that will protect working dogs (police, military, etc...), provide more effective legislation to shut down puppy mills (and keep them closed) and make all aspects of dog fighting illegal.
In addition, your donations have helped fund our 'Choose Adoption' ribbons and pins. Many dogs sold in Canada come from puppy mills, which are horrible breeding operations where dogs are kept in cramped, filthy cages their whole lives, deprived of adequate food, attention, and veterinary care, and forced to give birth to litter after litter of puppies. Tying a 'choose adoption' ribbon on a dog’s leash or collar identifies them as an adopted animal and raises awareness about the value of giving a home to a shelter dog. A dog may end up in a shelter for many reasons including an unexpected move, allergies or issues with a landlord; most have nothing to do with the dog itself. Learn about our Choose Adoption ribbons at:www.cfhs.ca/info/3987
As a founding member of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), the CFHS has been improving living conditions for Canada’s farm animals since the Council’s inception in 2005. As a leader in establishing science-based standards, the CFHS negotiates with animal industry leaders to update and strengthen the codes that define standards for the treatment of animals used for profit – known as Codes of Practice.
Your funding has allowed the CFHS and its Code Representatives to continue to negotiate with industry groups to ensure that the highest levels of animal welfare and enrichment on Canadian farms are realized.
The current Pig Code has gone through public consultation and is in the final stages of ratification. The Beef Code is now available at: http://www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/beef-cattle
As well, your funding has allowed our Code representatives’ involvement with the initial Committee meetings for the new Broiler Chicken and Turkey code.
To put our involvement in the Codes process in context, over the 2012/2013 timeframe our Code Representatives represented the welfare of almost 30 million at-risk farm animals. This can be broken down into: beef (12.8 million animals), equine (965,000 animals--2010 estimate), pig (12.7 million animals) and mink/fox: (2.6 million animals--2010 estimate).
The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies continues to educate Canadian Members of Parliament and Senators on the current state of Canadian animal welfare, including companion animals and farm animals.
Through the distribution of our Political Animal publication to the Senate and House of Commons, we are further engaging MPs on animal welfare in Canada and opening discussions on what is happening in their local constituencies.
You can access a digital copy of Political Animal at: http://cfhs.ca/law/
The CFHS will be convening its members in Ottawa again this fall on November 19. Once again, we will take this opportunity to host a reception for MPs and Senators to meet with our members to discuss their role at the local level. Legislative change is a very slow process, but the CFHS continues to set the stage for substantial and meaningful change.
Our work to educate our lawmakers continues to gain momentum thanks to your support.