3.10 Animal welfare

by Craig Cantin | November 29, 2011 4:03 pm

While everyone is against cruelty to animals, factory farming has been allowed to create systematic and routine cruelty to livestock production. Chickens are packed tightly in cages their whole lives, cattle crowd in feedlots, and pigs are kept indoors in cages on slatted metal floors all their lives. Most people believe that animals, including domesticated animals, have the right to be treated humanely.

The current federal laws protect animals from cruelty under the Criminal Code, but animals fall into the property section. Thus, cruelty to animal offences are among the very few offences that can only be convicted as summary convictions (minor offences, with limited penalties). As well, the Criminal Code uses the term “willful intent”, making it very hard to prove a person has violated the code. Many in law enforcement recognize that those who engage in wanton acts of cruelty to animals are more likely to commit crimes against fellow human beings.

We believe that animals should be treated humanely and with respect at all times. Farming practices must allow animals to live without undue stress and in conditions where they are able to exercise normal behaviours. Many animals that live in intensive farming systems show signs of stress such as stereotypes (repetitive behaviours with no purpose) and aggression. Some animals, such as chicken breeder broilers and sows (mothers of pigs used for meat), are kept in a state of starvation in order to keep them at healthy weight, despite their bred-in genetic predisposition to gain weight. Mortalities, disease, and injuries from long transport are a common occurrence, since abattoirs are often long distances from farms.

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Source URL: http://elizabethmaymp.ca/vision-green/p3.10