April 29, 2014
Quebec Ministry of Agriculture Urged to Enforce Provincial Regulations to Protect Farm Animals
Newly-appointed Minister Pierre Paradis must make critical changes to improve conditions on Quebec farms
In the wake of footage revealing inhumane treatment on a Quebec veal farm in Pont-Rouge, Humane Society International/Canada is strongly urging incoming Minister of Agriculture Pierre Paradis to take immediate steps to enforce provincial farm animal care regulations.
Sayara Thurston, campaign manager with HSI/Canada stated: “Almost two years ago to the day, then-Liberal Minister of Agriculture Pierre Corbeil proudly announced changes to provincial regulations to address serious issues within animal agriculture, yet the images released from the Pont-Rouge facility revealed calves kept in terrible conditions and confined in crates significantly smaller than industry norms. As part of his new mandate, Minister Paradis must take urgent steps to ensure that farms are complying with the province’s regulations.”
In a 2012 press release, Mr. Corbeil declared that the government could now “act more efficiently in the face of deplorable situations that threaten the health and welfare of animals.” The government further reiterated its belief that animal welfare is compromised when animals are not provided with adequate food and water, are not housed in clean and appropriate conditions, and are not provided with necessary veterinary care when sick or injured. In spite of this assurance, every one of these situations were documented in secretly filmed footage recently released by the group Mercy for Animals Canada.
HSI/Canada is calling on the Ministry of Agriculture to take immediate steps toward adopting the National Farm Animal Care Council Codes of Practice into the Animal Health Protection Act, as Newfoundland and Labrador has done, and to require all producers be regularly inspected for compliance. This would allow inspectors to enforce what are currently voluntary industry standards such as space allowance, access to enrichment and socialization with other animals.
- In May 2012, the Quebec Government announced that they were expanding provincial animal care regulations to also cover animals raised on farms.
- The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Veal Calves was last updated in 1998 and is completely voluntary.
- Milk-fed veal calves are denied solid food and kept anemic throughout their short four or five month lives, in order to produce a paler cut of meat. This insufficient diet causes well-documented and significant negative physical and psychological impacts on calves.
- Calves raised in intensive confinement are denied the chance to express even their most instinctive behaviours. Restricted to crates barely larger than their own bodies, they are unable to take more than a step forward or back, turn around or lie down comfortably. They have no chance to interact with other animals, exercise, groom themselves, suckle or explore.
- In 2012, 335,000 male calves were slaughtered for human consumption in Canada.
Media contact: Christopher Pare 514 395-2914, firstname.lastname@example.org