Target: Stephen Baker, Vice President of Operations for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Goal: Require Canada to have strict regulations on how long animals for slaughter can be transported
Canada has some of the most lenient laws in the industry in regards to transporting livestock. This lack of structure can cause uncomfortable and dangerous situations for animals that are being transported to slaughter. The Canadian guidelines for animal transportation, many set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), are just that: guidelines. They do not protect vulnerable animals from extreme conditions such as intense cold, as is a recently severe problem. These guidelines must turn into strict rules, and animals being transported must be treated much more humanely.
Slaughter animals that are transported in Canada travel for long periods of time, often with no food or water. Transported chickens are believed to suffer the most due to their small size. The recommended number of chickens per crate during transport allows the birds to stand on their own and have a few inches between each other. However, because these recommendations are not enforced by law, more often than not chickens are crammed into cages, with no ability to stand, practically on top of each other. During winter months chickens will often arrive to their destination severely distressed, wet, or frozen to death.
All other animals sent to slaughter suffer similar fates. Cows and pigs often arrive dead on arrival, if not severely injured or dying. Individuals that are caught transporting animals in unsatisfactory conditions or arrive with severely wounded animals typically only receive verbal warning and advice on how to transport more humanely. There are no strict reprimands or fines. There are no easily accessible veterinarians for care or ways to help an animal who is suffering. These situations must not be allowed to persist; demand Canada set and enforce strict animal transporting rules.
Dear Stephen Baker,
Animals sent to slaughter in Canada are severely mistreated and often killed with little to no repercussions for the accused. I am writing you to ask that the policies of the CFIA regarding animal transportation undergo extreme reform. Chickens, pigs, bison, and cows arriving severely injured or dead on arrival is not acceptable.
Though the CFIA believes that long-term transports are necessary due to Canada’s terrain, I urge you to consider supporting farms which slaughter on site or minimize the length of transport for slaughter animals. Transportation is severely stressful for animals, especially when weather conditions are extreme and the animals are not given food or water for hours on end.
Reprimands for individuals responsible for the mistreatment of livestock must become more severe. If there is no risk for severe punishment, drivers and others involved will put their comfort and time before that of the animals. This behavior must not be encouraged. Become a positive change for slaughter animals. Enforce the rules, and encourage humane treatment of animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ben via Flickr