Humane Society International / Canada


Give dogs from around the world a second chance at life in Canada

Humane Society International / Canada


Force-feeding of ducks and geese can lead to tragic injuries, illness and disease

Humane Society International / Canada


Animals die in these shameful attacks on wildlife so the contestants can win cash or prizes. B.C. must ban these contests now.

Fans can vote online to help Save Ralph win internet’s top honor

Humane Society International


HSI

WASHINGTON, DC—Humane Society International announced today that Save Ralph has been nominated for best Public Service & Activism video in the 26th Annual Webby Awards. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet.

Save Ralph is a stop-motion animation short film produced in several languages by Humane Society International (HSI) in support of its global campaign to end cosmetic testing on animals. Written and directed by Spencer Susser and produced by Jeff Vespa in partnership with HSI and the Arch Model studio of puppet maker Andy Gent, the film features HSI’s campaign spokesbunny Ralph, as he goes through his daily routine as a “tester” in a lab. HSI’s #SaveRalph campaign tackles the disturbing issue of animal testing in an original and unexpected way—using the story of one bunny to shine a light on the plight of countless rabbits and other animals suffering in laboratories around the world, engaging viewers to help ban animal testing for cosmetics. The English-language film features a star-studded cast including Oscar winner Taika Waititi as Ralph, along with Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff and Tricia Helfer. Save Ralph was also produced in French, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese, and subtitled in multiple other languages, to support HSI’s efforts to reach hearts and minds of consumers and lawmakers in Canada, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Southeast Asia and beyond.

“Nominees like Save Ralph are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said Claire Graves, president of The Webby Awards. “It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 13,500 entries we received this year.”

“We are absolutely thrilled that Save Ralph is being recognized by the Webby Awards. This nomination provides a fantastic opportunity for Ralph to continue shining a global spotlight on the cruelty of cosmetic testing on animals to a new audience and the need to ban this practice around the world,” said Donna Gadomski, Save Ralph executive producer and HSI senior director of external affairs.

“Save Ralph has had a tremendous impact on Humane Society International’s efforts to end cosmetic testing on animals globally since its premiere last April,” said Troy Seidle, Save Ralph executive producer and HSI vice president of research and toxicology. “This film has motivated millions of people around the world to sign HSI’s petition to outlaw this cruel and obsolete practice, propelling Mexico to become the first North American country to ban cosmetic testing on animals, and is helping advance our legislative efforts in several other countries. We’re excited that the Webby recognition may help continue this momentum.”

As a nominee, Save Ralph is also eligible to win a Webby People’s Voice Award, which is voted online by fans across the globe. From now until April 21st, Save Ralph fans can cast their votes at Webby Awards People’s Voice .

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, and honored in a star-studded show at Cipriani Wall Street. Winners will have an opportunity to deliver one of The Webby Awards’ famous 5-Word Speeches. Past 5-Word Speeches include: Steve Wilhite’s “It’s Pronounced “Jif” not ‘Gif’; NASA’s “Houston We Have A Webby”; and Solange’s “I Got Five On It.”

ENDS

Media contact: Cassie Bodin-Duval, international coordinator in media relations: cbodinduval@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Canada


Send Minister Guilbeault a letter to express support for an end to elephant ivory and rhino horn trade in Canada.

Humane Society International/Canada emergency shelters in Ontario and Quebec will provide urgent care and rehabilitation

Humane Society International / Canada


Jean Chung/HSI

TORONTO – As the government in South Korea considers a ban on the dog meat industry, more than 100 lucky dogs who were rescued from the country’s dog meat farms last year will arrive in Canada to continue their journey to find forever homes.  

Many of the dogs were saved from a dog farm on Jindo Island by Humane Society International in partnership with local group LIFE. They were found confined in small, dilapidated wire cages in horrendous conditions, many of them forced to witness the brutal slaughter of cage mates. Conditions on the farm were so bad that local authorities responding to neighbour complaints about dogs crying in terror closed down the farm for breaching the Animal Protection Act. In November last year, the South Korean government initiated a task force to consider a ban on farming dogs for consumption, prompted by a suggestion from President Moon Jae-in.   

All the dogs coming to Canada were being bred for human consumption and most are Jindos, South Korea’s national dog breed. Due to flight restrictions, they were unable to leave South Korea at the time of rescue and so were cared for by HSI’s partner shelter. Now free to fly, the Jindo Island rescues together with dogs HSI saved from other farms, will arrive in Ontario over the next week and a half to receive much needed medical and behavioural care at HSI/Canada’s temporary shelter in Cambridge. While many of the dogs will later be transferred to a separate shelter in the United States to start their new life, around 40 dogs will travel to HSI/Canada’s Montreal facility to begin their search for adoptive families and finally put their traumatic past behind them.  

Ewa Demianowicz, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, said: “We are so thrilled to once again help our colleagues in South Korea end the cruel dog meat trade by welcoming these dogs who have been rescued from horrible dog meat farms at our emergency shelters. HSI/Canada will provide veterinary and behavioural care for these dogs and then our partner organisations will help find loving adoptive families for around 40 of them, while others will travel on to the United States to be cared for by our colleagues there. These dogs have endured tremendous suffering and our team is thrilled to be bringing them to safety and helping them recover from their physical and psychological trauma.”

At the Jindo Island farm, HSI/Korea was horrified to discover a large pile of collars in the central killing area of the farm where countless dogs will have been killed by electrocution and butchered for dog meat while their terrified cage mates looked on. Humane Society International/Korea, which has closed down 17 other dog meat farms in the country and rescued almost 2,500 dogs, is campaigning for legislation in South Korea to end the dog meat industry.   

Among the dogs coming to Canada is gentle Kaya, whose cage on the Jindo Island farm was positioned very close to the slaughter area. Despite the traumatic scenes she must have witnessed, Kaya was eager for human affection during her rescue, and loves being fussed over. Kaya’s tail doesn’t stop wagging, she’s always so happy to see people. Also flying to Canada is sweet Moose who is very calm and enjoys treats; energetic Max who was likely an abandoned pet; Sony who was depressed and emaciated at rescue but is now gaining weight and confidence; and other sweet natured Jindos such as Lucie-loo and Jenny-joo. 

As these dogs start new lives, HSI’s team in Seoul will continue to campaign for an end to the dog meat industry and is looking forward to assisting the government’s task force in its deliberations. Since 2015, HSI’s Models for Change program has seen the NGO work in co-operation with many dog farmers eager to leave the controversial and dying industry, helping them transition to more profitable and humane trades. Opinion polls show that most Koreans (84%) don’t or won’t eat dog meat, and there is growing public support (almost 60%) for a ban. Despite this, an estimated 1 to 2 million dogs are still kept on thousands of farms across South Korea. 

Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaign manager, said: “I hope very much that for these dogs flying to Canada, the dog meat industry will soon be just a distant memory. They have experienced the worst of humanity, but now they will know what love and compassion feels like. Here in South Korea we are at a crossroads, with the government giving serious consideration to ending this cruel industry. The many years of experience that HSI’s pioneering dog farm closure program has to offer will hopefully take us one step closer to a future where no dog farms exist and all dogs can live happy lives.”

HSI’s farm closures were conducted under COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. A veterinarian tests for the presence of the H3N2 virus (“canine influenza”) at the time the dogs receive their rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvo virus, parainfluenza and Leptospira vaccines. The dogs are quarantined and health certified prior to transport overseas, in accordance with international export and import requirements. 

Download photos and video of this rescue.

ENDS

Media Contact: Ewa Demianowicz: 514-575-3499, edemianowicz@hsi.org 

Landmark decision will protect public health and save hundreds of thousands of animals annually from a lifetime of misery

Humane Society International / Canada


Jillian Cooper/iStock.com Wild mink

MONTREAL—In the wake of multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 on BC fur farms—and a recent incident in which infectious mink escaped from a quarantined facility—the provincial government has announced a phase-out of mink farming by April 2023. In the past 18 months, hundreds of COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred on mink farms globally, with dangerous mutations of the virus occurring in some facilities and being transmitted back into the human population.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada stated: “It is the abysmal conditions and horrendous suffering on factory fur farms that make these facilities incubators for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Mink farming is exceptionally cruel, intensively confining highly intelligent, semi-aquatic wild animals and denying them their most basic of needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined our relationship with animals and our environment, calling into question many formerly accepted practices. In protecting both people and mink, the BC government has shown tremendous leadership and set an important example for the rest of the nation to follow.”

Mink on almost 450 mink fur farms across 12 countries (including 10 EU member states) have been found infected with COVID-19, leading to mass culls of millions of minks. British Columbia is the latest member of a growing list of nations and territories— including the UK, Luxembourg, Slovakia and the Netherlands—that have taken decisive action to stop fur farming within their jurisdiction due to serious public health and animal welfare concerns.

Facts:

  • The BC provincial health officer identified mink farming as a “health hazard” that “endangers public health,” noting that “the susceptibility of mink to infection with SARS-CoV-2 creates a risk of development of variants of concern which pose a threat to public health and could undermine the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccination program in British Columbia.”[1]
  • Mink escape into the wild from fur factory farms at notoriously high rates. In 2020 (the last year for which data is available), over 23,000 mink died prematurely or escaped from BC fur farms.
  • Escaped, infected mink are capable of transmitting COVID-19 to wild mink, and likely to other susceptible species of wildlife, which can establish disease reservoirs in the wild, risking further virus mutation and potentially catastrophic spillover events.
  • Fur farming has been banned and/or is in the process of being phased-out in numerous European nations such as Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland’s cabinet has approved legislation that would see fur farming banned effective from 2022; and legislation to ban mink farming is currently being debated by politicians in France, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and Ukraine.

Timeline: 

ENDS

Media Contact: Michael Bernard: 613-371-5170; mbernard@hsi.org

Tens of thousands of concerned Canadians and international stakeholders participated in public consultation on possible trade prohibitions

Humane Society International / Canada


Elephant and calf
Getty Images/istockphoto

MONTREAL—As the Canadian government’s public consultation on elephant ivory trade comes to an end, Humane Society International/Canada, Elephanatics, and more than 40 Canadian and international NGOs, together representing tens of millions of supporters globally, have signed on to a letter calling on the new Canadian government to take urgent action to prohibit elephant ivory trade.

Environment and Climate Change Canada launched the public consultation to hear feedback on proposed measures to restrict or end elephant ivory trade on July 23, 2021. During the 60-day consultation period, Canadians and individuals around the world voiced their support for ending Canada’s role in the elephant ivory trade.

Kelly Butler, the wildlife campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada, stated:

“Canadians have made it clear that there is no place for elephant ivory trade in Canada. We are now calling on the newly elected Canadian government to listen to the overwhelming number of Canadians and international stakeholders who supported strict elephant ivory trade prohibitions and implement these measures urgently. Elephants do not have another four years to wait.”

Tessa Vanderkop, vice-president of Elephanatics, stated:

“The African elephant population has declined by a staggering 96% in the last century alone and the species is at risk of going extinct in the wild within the next few decades without global intervention. The United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and leading conservation organizations including the African Elephant Coalition have called for countries to close their legal elephant ivory markets in order to curtail poaching and save African elephants from extinction. Experts around the world agree that it’s beyond due time for Canada to close its elephant ivory market.”

The NGO-led sign-on letter calls on the Canadian government to implement the strictest measures that were proposed in the consultation, including prohibitions on importing elephant ivory for commercial purposes or as hunting trophies, and is signed by:

African Conservation Foundation, Animal Defenders International, Animal Justice, Animals Asia Foundation, BC SPCA, Big Life Foundation Canada, Born Free Foundation, Bring The Elephant Home, Canopy,  CATCA Environmental and Wildlife Society (CEWS), Earth League International (ELI), Elephanatics, Elephant Listening Project, Elephant Reintegration Trust, Family and Animal Wellness Inc, Fondation Franz Weber, For the Love of Wildlife Ltd, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, Humane Canada™, IFAW Canada, Insure Our Future, International Animal Rescue, Mara Elephant Project, Member of this planet, National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. New Zealanders for Endangered Wildlife founder, No Whales In Captivity, NRDC, Nsefu Wildlife Conservation Foundation, NSPCA, Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Pro Wildlife, Rhino & Elephant Defenders (RED), Save Elephant Foundation, SEEJ-AFRICA (Saving Elephants through Education and Justice), Shark Research Institute, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Species Survival Network, Standfast Developments Ltd, The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, Two Million Tusks, WildlifeDirect, World Animal Protection Canada, World Animal Protection International, World Elephant Day, and Zoocheck Inc.

Quick Facts:

  • Every year, as many as 35,000 elephants die at the hands of elephant ivory poachers in Africa.
  • In March of 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and declared the African forest elephant to be Critically Endangered and the African savanna elephant to be Endangered.
  • Canada’s top trading partners, including the United States, China and the United Kingdom have closed their elephant ivory markets in response to declining elephant populations.
  • In addition to the elephant ivory trade, Canada allows the import of elephant tusks and parts from trophy hunts. Approximately 300 African elephant tusks – representing 150 elephants – were legally imported into Canada from 2010-2018.
  • Repeated government seizures of elephant ivory in Canada are irrefutable evidence of illegal ivory trade in this nation. While such seizures may intercept some of the illegal trade that is occurring, it is conservatively assumed that customs intercepts just 10% of all contraband ivory.
  • In June, an open letter calling for an end to the elephant ivory trade in Canada was signed by notable Canadians including David Suzuki, Robert Bateman and Bryan Adams.
  • According to a 2020 poll by Insights West, 94% of Canadians support an elephant ivory trade ban. A public petition calling for a Canadian ban on the elephant ivory trade has amassed over 600,000 signatures.

ENDS

Media Contact: Michael Bernard: 613-371-5170; mbernard@hsi.org

Canadians urged to speak up for elephants in public consultation

Humane Society International / Canada


istock

MONTREAL—Seventeen renowned Canadian artists and scientists have signed an open letter calling on the Canadian government to take urgent action to prohibit elephant ivory trade. In the past century, the African elephant population, which is currently listed as critically endangered/endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, has declined by 96%, with leading scientists warning the population could be lost altogether within the next few decades in the absence of global intervention to disincentivize poachers.

On July 23, 2021, The Canadian government launched a public consultation to hear feedback on proposed measures to restrict or end elephant ivory trade.

Robert Bateman, renowned Canadian artist and conservationist, stated: “The survival of African elephants hinges on the actions of the global community, and progressive nations like Canada have a responsibility to act accordingly. I am joining countless Canadians in calling on the Canadian government to act now and ban elephant ivory trade. I commend the government for launching a public consultation and encourage all concerned Canadians to take this critically important opportunity to speak up.”

Michael Bernard, deputy director of Humane Society International/Canada, stated: “Canada is at a crossroads and the actions we take now to protect African elephants will be remembered for generations to come. In keeping with its commitments to preserve global biodiversity and end human-induced extinctions, the Canadian government has launched a crucial public consultation. We urge all Canadians to participate and make clear that only a robust national ban on elephant ivory trade can truly help us end the senseless killing of African elephants.”

Tessa Vanderkop, vice president of Elephanatics, stated: “Tens of thousands of African elephants are killed every year to fill the global demand for elephant ivory. The world community is taking action, and more than 620,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Canadian government to ban elephant ivory trade as a matter of urgency. We encourage all Canadians to take part in the consultation and make their voices heard for African elephants.”

The full list of notable Canadians who have signed onto the open letter urging the government to take action and ban elephant ivory trade includes: Bif Naked, musician; Bryan Adams, O.C., musician; Cristina Mittermeier, photographer, biologist; Edward Burtynsky, photographer; Georges Laraque, commentator, former athlete; Dr. Harvey Locke, conservationist; Jennifer Baichwal, filmmaker; Professor John Bemrose, Victoria College, University of Toronto; Dr. John England, O.C., F.R.S.C., professor emeritus, earth and atmospheric sciences; Dr. Martin Sharpe – earth scientist; Nicholas de Pencier, filmmaker; Paul Nicklen, photojournalist, marine biologist; Dr. Peter Abrams, F.R.S.C., professor emeritus, ecology & evolutionary biology; Robert Bateman, C.M., O.B.C., artist; Shelton Dupreez, filmmaker; Tzeporah Berman, environmental activist; and William Shatner, O.C., actor.

More information regarding the consultation and how to participate can be found here.

Quick Facts:

  • Studies indicate between 25,000 and 50,000 African elephants have been poached annually in recent decades, and even the lowest estimate exceeds the elephant birth rate, thereby posing a direct threat to these populations.
  • In March of 2021, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and declared the African forest elephant to be Critically Endangered and the African savanna elephant to be Endangered.
  • In 2016, delegates to the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)agreed in a resolution recommending that, “all Parties and non-Parties in whose jurisdiction there is a legal domestic market for ivory that is contributing to poaching or illegal trade, take all necessary legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures to close their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a matter of urgency.” Repeated government seizures of elephant ivory in Canada are irrefutable evidence of illegal ivory trade in this nation and likely represent a fraction of existing illegal trade.
  • The African Elephant Coalition, comprised of 32 African nations (including 29 elephant range states) states, “any supply of ivory, including that within otherwise legal domestic markets, inherently increases the risk to elephant populations and local communities, due to the opportunity it creates for the laundering of illegal ivory under the guise of legality.”
  • Canada’s top trading partners, including the United States, China and the United Kingdom have closed their elephant ivory markets in response to declining elephant populations.
  • In addition to elephant ivory trade, Canada allows the import of elephant tusks and parts from trophy hunts. Approximately 300 African elephant tusks—representing 150 elephants—were legally imported into Canada from 2010-2018.
  • 94% of Canadians support an elephant ivory trade ban (Insights West, 2020) and a public petition calling for a Canadian ban on elephant ivory trade has amassed over 600,000 signatures.

ENDS

Media Contact: Michael Bernard: 613-371-5170; mbernard@hsi.org.

An historic moment in the fight to end cruel fur fashion, says Humane Society International

Humane Society International / Canada


Nathan Hobbs/iStock.com

MONTREAL—Canada Goose has today announced that it will end the use of all fur in its products. The brand will end the purchase of fur by the end of 2021 and end manufacturing products with fur by the end of 2022.

Rebecca Aldworth, Humane Society International/Canada’s executive director, responds: “We applaud Canada Goose for taking this compassionate and fashion-forward decision to end its relationship with fur. This is an historic moment in the fight to end cruel fur fashion. Canada Goose’s trademark parka jackets with coyote fur trim can now be replaced with fur-free garments that symbolise sustainable, cruelty-free fashion fit for the twenty first century consumer. This is a major step forward for animal protection and also a sign of changing consumer habits. Clearly, the future of fashion is fur free.”

ENDS

Media Contact: Wendy Higgins, director of international media: whiggins@hsi.org

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