“There is no future in this dog meat industry,” says farmer Kim

Humane Society International / Global


Jean Chung/for HSI Dogs are shown locked in a cage at a dog meat farm in Hongseong, South Korea, on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

SEOUL—More than 70 dogs found languishing on a South Korean dog meat farm by animal charity Humane Society International have been given a second chance by the farmer’s decision to quit the dog meat industry once and for all. Mr. Nakseon Kim has been breeding dogs for nearly 40 years, but he jumped at the chance to leave dog farming behind when HSI offered to help him start a new life growing cabbages and other vegetables instead.

Amid growing South Korean opposition to eating dogs and a series of new regulations and court rulings cracking down on the industry, farmers like Mr. Kim are increasingly looking for an exit strategy but with one request – to save their dogs. After years of sending the animals to slaughter, Mr. Kim is not the first farmer to be relieved to learn that HSI rescues, rehabilitates and seeks happy homes for all the dogs.

“It may sound odd but I started dog farming because I like dogs,” said Mr. Kim, “I’ve never actually been a big fan of dog meat myself. I had a few dogs so I began breeding them and when I had 20 or 30 I started to sell them because I thought it would be good money but it hasn’t really worked out that way. I earn nothing from this dog farm, and pressure from the government is increasing and it’s not a good business at all.”

On his property in Hongseong, Mr. Kim breeds tosas, Jindos, poodles, beagles, huskies, golden retrievers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and Boston terriers for two abusive industries – the meat trade and the puppy mill trade. In rows of dilapidated cages, surrounded by animal waste, junk and garbage, some dogs are destined for the slaughterhouse, and others the unscrupulous puppy mill trade. Despite Korea’s dog meat industry attempting to claim a difference between pet dogs and “meat dogs”, the reality is they are all just dogs whose fate ultimately depends on where greatest profits can be made.

Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaigner, said: “Unfortunately, it is still very common in South Korea to see live puppies for sale in pet shop windows. But what most Koreans will be shocked to learn is that these same puppies could easily have ended up being killed for human consumption instead. Whether they live or die, they are all born in this miserable place, their mothers intensively bred over and over until they are exhausted and eventually sold to slaughterhouses. I’m so glad that this nightmare has ended for these lovely dogs, but until the government commits to phase out this dreadful industry, the nightmare continues for millions more. As Koreans we need to be their voice and call for an end to the dog farming and dog meat industries.”

Marking the 16th dog farm that HSI has closed since its farmer transition program began in 2015, all the dogs will eventually be flown to partner shelters in Canada and the United States to seek adoptive homes. First, they are being relocated to a temporary boarding facility in South Korea while the organization waits for COVID-19 travel restrictions to relax. Once safely off the farm, the dogs will immediately receive a full veterinary check-up and settle into their temporary quarters where they can begin their rehabilitation.

HSI hopes its model for change will hasten an end to the controversial and cruel industry by demonstrating to the Korean government that a farmer-supported phase out of farms can work.

Mr. Kim said: “It’s too much work and I’ve got too old to be doing this for no profit. I just want to get some rest from all of this now. I’ve had enough, especially now that I have to pay for dog food since the local school decided to stop giving me free kitchen waste. I don’t think there are many people in South Korea who are willing to run dog meat farms anymore. There is no future in this dog meat industry. Once HSI helps me close my dog farm, I think I will start to grow crops instead like lettuce, cabbage, or other greens to sell to restaurants. That’s a business with a future.”

Dog meat consumption has been steadily declining in South Korea, and is banned or severely restricted in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. In 2018 both Indonesia and Vietnam’s capital city Hanoi pledged an end to the dog meat trade, and most recently in April 2020 the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai banned dog and cat meat consumption following a public statement by the Chinese government that dogs are considered companions and not livestock. As global pressure builds for countries across Asia to permanently close wildlife wet markets amid coronavirus risks, the array of undeniable human health risks posed by the dog meat trade in South Korea and across Asia, is strengthening calls for action across the continent.

Facts:   

  • Up to 2 million dogs a year are bred and raised on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea.
  • Dog meat consumption is declining in South Korea, particularly among younger generations, and most Koreans don’t eat it regularly. A June 2018 survey by Gallup Korea showed that 70% of South Koreans say they will not eat dog meat in future. Still, dog meat remains popular during the Bok days of summer in July and August based on its perceived curative properties during the hot and humid summer months.
  • There has been a series of recent crackdowns by authorities to curb the dog meat industry. In November 2018, HSI/Korea assisted Seongnam City Council in shutting down Taepyeong dog slaughterhouse (the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse), followed in July 2019 by the closure of Gupo dog meat market in Busan (South Korea’s second largest dog meat market after Moran market, which has also closed), and a declaration in October last year by the mayor of Seoul that the city is “dog slaughter free”. Most recently, last November HSI’s partner group Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) won a Supreme Court case against a dog farmer who electrocuted dogs in violation of the Animal Protection Act, a judgement that could have huge implications for an industry that relies almost entirely on this brutal and protracted killing method.
  • HSI has rescued more than 2,000 dogs from South Korea’s meat industry. At each dog meat farm closure, HSI has a veterinarian test for the presence of the H3N2 virus (“canine influenza”), at the time the dogs receive their rabies, DHPP and coronavirus vaccines. HSI also vaccinates the dogs for distemper and parvo. HSI then quarantines the dogs on the farm or at a shelter for at least 30 days, and the dogs are health certified again prior to transport overseas.

Download broll video and photos of the rescue.

ENDS

Media contacts
United Kingdom and international media: Wendy Higgins, whiggins@hsi.org, +44 (0)7989 972 423
United States: Nancy Hwa, nhwa@hsi.org, 1-202-596-0808
South Korea: Nara Kim, nkim@hsi.org

Rescued dogs to be temporarily sheltered in Seoul

Humane Society International / Canada


Jean Chung/for HSI Dogs are shown locked in a cage at a dog meat farm in Hongseong, South Korea, February 8, 2020.

MONTREAL –More than 70 dogs found suffering by HSI on a hybrid dog meat farm and puppy mill in South Korea have been rescued and relocated to a temporary boarding facility in South Korea. Once safely off the farm, the dogs will immediately receive a full veterinary check-up and settle into their temporary quarters where they can begin their rehabilitation.

Many of the dogs will eventually be flown to HSI/Canada’s Montreal emergency shelter, where over 450 dogs from the dog meat trade have been successfully rehabilitated before being placed in forever homes. This marks the 16th dog farm that HSI has closed since its pioneering dog meat farm transition program began in 2015.

Several breeds were found on this facility, including tosas, Jindos, poodles, beagles, huskies, golden retrievers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas and Boston terriers. The facility supplied two abusive industries: the meat trade, and the puppy mill trade. In rows of dilapidated cages, surrounded by animal waste, junk and garbage, some dogs were destined for the slaughterhouse, and others the unscrupulous puppy mill trade.

Émilie-Lune Sauvé, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, stated: “We are so relieved to know that these dogs, who have endured such misery, are safe at last. But millions more are still confined on dog meat farms in South Korea and this industry needs to be shut down for good. We urge South Korea to follow the example of the two cities in China that have recently banned dog meat trade, and end this suffering forever.”

Nara Kim, HSI/Korea’s dog meat campaigner, added: “Unfortunately, it is still very common in South Korea to see live puppies for sale in pet shop windows. But what most Koreans will be shocked to learn is that these same puppies could easily have ended up being killed for human consumption instead. Whether they live or die, they are all born in this miserable place, their mothers intensively bred over and over until they are exhausted and eventually sold to slaughterhouses. I’m so glad that this nightmare has ended for these lovely dogs, but until the government commits to phase out this dreadful industry, the nightmare continues for millions more.”

Opposition to eating dogs is growing steadily in South Korea, and a series of new regulations and court rulings are cracking down on this cruel industry.

To download broll video and photos of the rescue, click here.

Facts:

  • Up to 2 million dogs a year are bred and raised on thousands of dog meat farms across South Korea.
  • Dog meat consumption is declining in South Korea, particularly among younger generations, and most Koreans don’t eat it regularly. A June 2018 surveyby Gallup Korea showed that 70% of South Koreans say they will not eat dog meat in future. Still, dog meat remains popular during the Bok days of summer in July and August based on its perceived curative properties during the hot and humid summer months.
  • There has been a series of recent crackdowns by authorities to curb the dog meat industry. In November 2018, HSI/Korea assisted Seongnam City Council in shutting down Taepyeong dog slaughterhouse (the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse), followed in July 2019 by the closure of Gupo dog meat market in Busan (South Korea’s second largest dog meat market after Moran market, which has also closed), and a declaration in October last year by the mayor of Seoul that the city is “dog slaughter free”. Most recently, last November HSI’s partner group Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) won a Supreme Court case against a dog farmer who electrocuted dogs in violation of the Animal Protection Act, a judgement that could have huge implications for an industry that relies almost entirely on this brutal and protracted killing method.
  • HSI has rescued more than 2,000 dogs from South Korea’s meat industry. At each dog meat farm closure, HSI has a veterinarian test for the presence of the H3N2 virus (“canine influenza”), at the time the dogs receive their rabies, DHPP and coronavirus vaccines. HSI also vaccinates the dogs for distemper and parvo. HSI then quarantines the dogs on the farm or at a shelter for at least 30 days, and the dogs are health certified again prior to transport overseas.
  • Dog meat consumption has been steadily declining in South Korea, and is banned or severely restricted in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. As global pressure builds for countries across Asia to permanently close wildlife wet markets amid coronavirus risks, the array of undeniable human health risks posed by the dog meat trade in South Korea and across Asia, is strengthening calls for action across the continent.

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Media contact: Christopher Paré, Director of Communications, HSI/Canada – Cell: 438-402-0643, email: cpare@hsi.org

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International which, together with its affiliates, constitutes one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide and on the web at hsicanada.ca.

Program provides urgent support for companion animals and their families

Humane Society International / Canada


HSI HSI/Canada is helping animals and people caring for animals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MONTREAL—As COVID-19 continues to severely impact peoples’ lives, Humane Society International/Canada and Friends of HSI have launched the COVID-19 Animal Response Program in Quebec in collaboration with the City of Montreal, with the generous support of PetSmart Charities of Canada. The program will provide critical assistance to families and individuals in urgent need of help in caring for their companion animals during this crisis. Specifically, the program will:

  • Deliver companion animal food and supplies to seniors, people with limited mobility and individuals dealing with illness or reduced income.
  • Provide emergency sheltering and care for animals temporarily separated from their caregivers as a result of the pandemic. This includes people who are experiencing homelessness or facing precarious housing situations, as well as individuals dealing with health complications or hospitalization.
  • Provide emergency animal transportation to veterinary clinics and help to source life-saving medication and treatments for animals living with health issues.
  • Provide cages, food and bowls for animals of people who are experiencing homelessness and displaced people who are quarantined in hotels as they await the results of their COVID-19 testing.

Émilie Sauvé, senior campaign manager for HSI/Canada, stated: “This pandemic will have profound and far reaching impacts on animal welfare, such as projected increases in abandonment and street animal populations. More than half of homes in Quebec include a companion animal and—as people face lost incomes, illness and restrictions on movement—many of those animals will be at risk. Our COVID-19 Animal Response Program will help keep people and their companion animals together during these challenging times.”

“As an organization dedicated to supporting pets and the people who love them, PetSmart Charities of Canada remains committed to the health and wellness of pets during this unprecedented time, and our hearts go out to those impacted by COVID-19,” said Dani LaGiglia, regional relationship manager at the national charity. “As needs continue to evolve, we are proud to support HSI/Canada in providing much needed resources to those in need in Montreal and communities throughout Quebec during this pandemic.”

HSI/Canada and Friends of HSI are grateful for the incredible generosity of Rolf C. Hagen Inc., Kane Veterinary Supplies, The Great Canadian Dog Food and True Pure Choice companies, whose donations of pet food will help countless animals in the coming weeks.

Members of the Quebec/Montreal public impacted by COVID-19 and in need of urgent assistance in caring for their companion animals are encouraged to reach out by email at qcresponse@hsicanada.ca or by phone at 438-680-3425.

The HSI/Canada and Friends of HSI COVID-19 Animal Response Program will provide similar services in Ontario as well as support to Quebec First Nations communities. To download photos of our COVID-19 Animal Response team in action, click here.

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Media contact: Christopher Paré, Director of Communications, HSI/Canada – Cell: 438-402-0643, email: cpare@hsi.org

 Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International which, together with its affiliates, constitutes one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide and on the web at hsicanada.ca.

Friends of HSI is a registered charitable organization working to protect animals through public education and awareness, rescue, sheltering, provision of veterinary services and other direct care programs. We are proud to be part of the Humane Society International family of global affiliates, which together comprise one of the largest and most effective animal protection groups in the world. On the Web at friendsofhsi.ca

Humane Society International welcomes move but urges the company to commit to a ‘cleaner and clearer’ no fur policy

Humane Society International / Global


Nathan Hobbs/iStock.com

WASHINGTON—Canada Goose has announced in a new report that from 2022 it will no longer buy fur from trappers and instead will use reclaimed fur in its products. Animal protection organisation Humane Society International welcomes the announcement as ‘another nail in the coffin for the fur trade’ but hopes for a ‘cleaner and clearer’ no-fur policy from the company in the near future.

PJ Smith, director of fashion policy at the Humane Society of the United States, said, “While we congratulate Canada Goose for taking this step, and are happy to see yet another nail in the coffin for the fur trade, switching to ‘reclaimed fur’ feels like an unnecessarily long-goodbye for this company’s outdated relationship with fur; ultimately their future must be fur-free. We urge Canada Goose to make a cleaner and clearer commitment to sustainability by switching to bio-fake-furs, and closed-loop recycling of faux fur materials. We hope in the near future to see Canada Goose following the vast majority of top designers in cutting all ties with cruel and outdated fur.”

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, said, “Fur trapping results in prolonged animal suffering, amputation and death for target and non-target wild and companion animals. Notably, the traps used throughout North America are banned in many other countries for animal welfare reasons. Canada Goose’s announcement that it will shift from new to reclaimed coyote fur is a partial victory for animals. However, significant clarification is required about the company’s definition of ‘reclaimed fur,’ its certification methods and its timeline for implementation. Consumers must carefully scrutinize the implementation of this new policy but ultimately we urge Canada Goose to stop using animal fur entirely in favour of humane and environmentally friendly alternatives.”

Canada Goose is infamous for selling garments trimmed with coyote fur from animals caught in cruel leg-hold traps. The company’s continued use of fur has led to global criticism and protests from leading animal groups over the last decade.

Wild animals such as coyotes and wolves who are trapped for their fur, can languish in agony in cruel traps for hours or even days before dying from dehydration, starvation, attacks by predators or being killed when the trapper returns. Animals on fur farms fare no better; in addition to the physical and psychological torment of being confined in small, barren cages for their entire lives, the killing methods typically used on fur farms are equally distressing. Mink are killed by gassing, and fox and raccoon dogs are killed by electrocution.

Humane Society International and the Humane Society of the United States have long fought the global fur trade, eliminating the demand for fur products around the world by working closely with top designers and retailers to go fur-free and banning fur sales in cities and states. In the UK, HSI leads the #FurFreeBritain campaign to ban fur sales countrywide.

Since the beginning of 2017 alone Burberry, Versace, Gucci, Chanel, Coach, Donna Karan, Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s, Michael Kors/Jimmy Choo, Diane von Furstenberg, Columbia Sportswear, Farfetch, Yoox Net-a-Porter, Burlington, VF Corporation (Timberland/The North Face) Furla and Bottega Veneta, have all stopped using fur in their collections.

END

Media contact: Wendy Higgins, whiggins@hsi.org

Humane Society International/Canada is urging pet owners to continue keeping animal friends safe by following science-based recommendations

Humane Society International / Canada


MONTREAL – In the wake of the unfolding crisis, Humane Society International/Canada is echoing the guidance of public health organizations – including the World Organisation for Animal Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control — that state there is no evidence at this time that companion animals, such as dogs and cats, contribute to the spread of COVID-19. For example, authorities are advising that it is still perfectly safe to continue taking your dog(s) for a walk outside so long as you practice safe social distancing.

Coronaviruses (CoV), including COVID-19, are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory diseases. While suspected to have originated from a wild animal source, it is now a human disease spread from person to person. The canine coronavirus we’ve known for years does not affect humans, cannot be transmitted to humans, and is not COVID-19.

Émilie-Lune Sauvé, HSI/Canada senior campaign manager for companion animals, stated: “We are urging pet owners to stay properly informed and to continue caring for their animal friends. Science tells us that our animals are not at risk and should be kept safe with us, their families.”

Dr. Gail Hansen, DVM, MPH of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, added, “At this time we do not have evidence that pets can get or spread COVID-19, although it is always good for people to practice careful hand-washing after handling your pet and after picking up and disposing pet waste. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick, so you and your pet can get the best care.”

HSI/Canada is also urging those with the means to do so to contact their local animal shelters by phone or online and consider adopting or fostering animals to help reduce the potential strain on shelters during this difficult time.

For further information, please consult this COVID-19 and companion animals FAQ from HSI/Canada’s partner organization, the Humane Society of the United States, and help spread the facts. This FAQ exists to counter potentially harmful misinformation while giving human-animal families the means to stay safe and informed.

Companion animals are precious members of our families and a source of great comfort during difficult times. Please keep them safe with you at home!

To arrange an interview, please call or email the media contact below.

 

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Media contact: Christopher Paré, Director of Communications, HSI/Canada – office: 514-395-2914 x 206, cell: 438-402-0643, email: cpare@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Canada


Humane Society International / Canada


MONTREAL – At a time when African nations are contending with an elephant poaching crisis that has caused devastating population declines, it has come to light that the annual Toronto Sportsmen’s Show continues to allow three vendors to sell elephant trophy hunting excursions that further threaten these magnificent animals. The Ivory-Free Canada Coalition, a partnership of Canadian non-profit organizations, including Humane Society International/Canada, the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, World Elephant Day, Elephanatics, and the Global March for Elephants & Rhinos – Toronto, are calling on organizers to drop these outfitters from the event, and demand the Canadian Government take immediate action in banning the import, domestic sale, and export of all elephant ivory, including hunting trophies.

Recently The Ivory-Free Canada Coalition helped to thwart the Calgary chapter of Safari Club International from auctioning off an elephant hunt in Botswana. This latest exposition includes three vendors attempting to profit from African elephant trophy hunting.

Michael Bernard, Deputy Director – HSI/Canada, stated: ” Elephants suffer horribly in trophy hunts. They are shot and left in agony for extended periods of time, they die painfully, and their social groups are disrupted, all to produce trophies for wealthy hunters who enjoy killing for fun. There is nothing sporting about the destruction of animals already contending with the devastating impacts of ivory poaching. In Canada, we are calling for a federal ban on elephant ivory trade, which would prevent hunters from bringing ivory tusks back to Canada, and remove a major incentive for elephant trophy hunting. In the meantime, this event should certainly respect Canadian values by excluding such exhibits.”

Fran Duthie, President of Elephanatics, added: “Science shows trophy hunting causes physiological and psychological effects to elephants. It increases their stress levels, which has led to aggressive behaviour towards humans and communication breakdown within their social structure. The long-term impact of ‘traumatic conservation’ methods on elephants is evident and needs to end”.

Patricia Sims, Founder of World Elephant Day and President – World Elephant Society, also stated: “The trophy hunting of elephants is atrocious and unnecessary, and hurts their vulnerable populations. Elephants are a vital keystone species, they are the caretakers of their habitats and climate change mitigators in their role of maintaining biodiversity. Killing elephants ultimately destroys habitats and Canada needs to take a stand now to ban elephant ivory and protect elephants for their survival and the health of our planet.”

Heather Craig, Co-Founder and President Global March for Elephants & Rhinos – Toronto, stated: “The world woke up to the horrific practice of trophy hunting in 2015 when Cecil the lion was killed by an American trophy hunter. Despite global outrage, hundreds of elephants and rhinos are killed every year. It is beyond our comprehension that the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show continues to allow outfitters to sell hunting trips, contributing further to a declining wildlife population.”

A staggering 20,000 African elephants are killed each year. Scientists anticipate they will be extinct in the wild within 20 years if threats continue. While poaching is the main threat to elephants, legal trophy hunting only exacerbates the threat and drives up the demand for elephant ivory.

Both the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Flora and Fauna (CITES) and members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have asked all countries to ban their domestic trade of ivory to save elephants. At least nine countries and 10 US states have done so. At the last IUCN Congress, Canada – along with Japan, Namibia and South Africa – refused to support the motion on domestic ivory trade bans.

Over 100 African elephant tusks were imported into Canada as hunting trophies over the past decade, according to the data Canada reported to CITES in its annual trade reports. Yet exporting countries reported that over 300 African elephant tusks were exported to Canada in this same time period. The reason for the discrepancy is unknown.

In order to press the Canadian government into action, the Ivory-Free Canada Coalition launched a petition to ban elephant ivory and hunting trophies at change.org/ivoryfreecanada. With over 540,000 signatures, it is one of the largest Canadian petitions on Change.org for 2019. The Ivory-Free Canada Coalition has been actively campaigning on this issue since 2016 and will continue to do so until a ban is put in place.

For interviews and/or more information, please call or email the media contact below.

 

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Media contact: Christopher Paré, director of communications, HSI/Canada – office: 514-395-2914 x 206, cell: 438-402-0643, email: cpare@hsi.org

The Ivory-Free Canada Coalition is a partnership of non-profit organizations petitioning the Canadian government to ban the import, domestic trade and export of all elephant ivory, including hunting trophies. The coalition includes Elephanatics, Global March for Elephants & Rhinos – Toronto, World Elephant Day, Humane Society International/Canada and the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada. Sign the Petition:  www.change.org/ivoryfreecanada

Newly released research exposes the horrific and preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands of farm animals

Humane Society International / Canada


iStockphoto

MONTREAL—Humane Society International/Canada has released a report, the first of its kind in Canada, detailing the scope of the preventable tragedy of barn fires and how the near total absence of mandatory safety measures has resulted in the deaths of countless farm animals.

Barn fires happen regularly and frequently. In the five-year period between 2015 and 2019, at least 740,000 animals died in barn fires in Canada, and this is a conservative estimate. Despite fires being a regular occurrence, the government does not require that farm buildings include sufficient fire prevention equipment and safety protocols because these structures are generally of “low-human occupancy.”

“It is unacceptable that the animal agriculture industry is not required to better protect animals from dying such horrific deaths,” stated Riana Topan, farm animal welfare campaign manager for HSI/Canada. “Just imagine the suffering of being burned alive, along with thousands of others, with no way to escape. No animal deserves to suffer so inhumanely. We urge building and fire code officials to reduce the risk of barn fires by amending our national construction model codes to require that farms have basic safety features, such as sprinklers and industrial-grade smoke detectors.”

HSI/Canada is calling on the provincial, territorial and federal governments to introduce fire prevention measures specifically for buildings that house farm animals, who are deserving of protection from fire and horrible deaths that can be avoided through basic safety protocols. Barn fires must also be prevented because they pose a risk to human life – putting both farm owners and first responders in harm’s way unnecessarily. Just last year, a fire at a large-scale facility in Manitoba claimed the lives of 27,000 chickens, while another in Quebec killed 700 pigs and sent the farm’s owner into nervous shock.

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, established by the National Research Council of Canada, is currently preparing to publish the 2020 editions of the National Building Code and National Fire Code. These model codes will include farm building requirements related to fire protection, structural design and dangerous goods. However, the requirements for large farm buildings are intended to safeguard humans and not animals, who are considered “property.” The updated codes will be adopted by all provinces and territories, who are responsible for regulating and enforcing construction standards.

To read and/or download the report, click here.

To arrange an interview, please call or email the media contact below.

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Media contact: Christopher Paré, director of communications, HSI/Canada – office: 514-395-2914 x 206, cell: 438-402-0643, email: cpare@hsi.org

Indonesia, India, Vietnam among countries where wild animal markets pose a disease risk

Humane Society International / Global


Masked man in Hong Kong market
Jayne Russell/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

WASHINGTON —Wildlife campaigners across the globe from animal charity Humane Society International have called for an urgent worldwide ban on the wildlife trade after China’s announcement that it will prohibit the buying and selling of wild animals for food in light of the mounting threat associated with coronavirus. The capture, market trade, and butchery of wild animal species for human consumption happens across large parts of Asia and Africa such as Indonesia, India, Vietnam, and West, Central and East Africa, as well as in Latin America, says HSI, posing a very real threat of spreading zoonotic and potentially fatal diseases. Governments around the world must take China’s lead and shut down this trade for good. HSI leadership in South Africa, Nepal, India, South Korea, Canada, the United States, Australia, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica have joined the call for global action.

Jeffrey Flocken, HSI president, says: “China has taken decisive action to halt the wildlife trade for human consumption implicated in the global coronavirus crisis, but it would be a grave mistake for us to think that the threat is isolated to China. The capture and consumption of wild animals is a global trade that causes immense suffering for hundreds of thousands of animals every year, including endangered wildlife species being traded to the brink of extinction. The trade can also spawn global health crises like the current coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and the deadly bird flu. Wildlife markets across the globe, but particularly in Asia and Africa, are widespread and could easily be the start of disease outbreaks in the future.”

In the north eastern states of India, wild species such as the Chinese pangolin and several species of wild birds are routinely sold for human consumption. Bengal monitor lizard meat is also consumed across India, driven mainly by the superstitious belief that the fat stored in the tail can cure arthritis, and meat from the Indian flap-shell turtle is also popular across the country, despite both species being listed under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. In some north Indian states, owl eyes are also consumed for their perceived medicinal benefits for human vision.

Indonesia also has hundreds of “extreme” animal markets where the conditions are the same as those described by scientists as the perfect breeding ground for new and deadly zoonotic viruses, such as coronaviruses. Wild animals are sold and slaughtered in public and unsanitary conditions. The trade takes place alongside that of dogs and cats which itself has already been shown to pose a risk of rabies transmission. In January this year, Humane Society International wrote to Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo as part of the Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition, calling for urgent measures to ensure that Indonesia does not become the next point of origin of a deadly virus by tackling the risk posed by these animal markets.

Mr. Flocken adds: “We already know that dog and cat meat markets in Indonesia are a hotbed for disease transmission, and we also know from our investigations that rabies-positive dogs are being sold and slaughtered for consumption in these markets. Given that dogs are caged and slaughtered alongside wild animals such as snakes, bats and rats, Indonesia must surely take preventative measures now to ensure it does not become the next point of origin of a deadly virus. Similar risks can be observed in wild animal markets across the globe and especially in Asia and Africa. The trade in wildlife is a global crisis that calls for global action, now.”

Wild meat consumption is also an issue in Vietnam where wild pig, goat and bird species are eaten as well as softshell turtle, bear, snake, pangolin and civet, and snake wine is also consumed. A number of studies conducted in recent years reveal that a significant percentage of the Vietnamese population consumes wild animals.

Bush meat, including that derived from primates, is still consumed in many parts of Africa. Earlier this month, the Tanzanian government endorsed the establishment of butcheries specifically for the bushmeat trade. And in South Africa, approximately 12,000 lions are captive bred in deplorable conditions, to facilitate the export of lion skeletons to Southeast Asia for tiger bone wine. Lions are hosts for the tuberculosis (TB) virus, which can survive in bones ground to powder.

In Guatemala and El Salvador, meat from crocodile, iguana and other reptiles is often eaten during Lent despite it being illegal to do so.

This week, the National People’s Congress, the Chinese national legislature, elevated an originally temporary ban on wildlife trade for human consumption from an administrative action to the level of a national law. Specifically, the announcement, issued as an emergency measure, creates a comprehensive ban on the trade in terrestrial wild animals bought and sold for food, including those who are bred or reared in captivity.

Download video footage of Indonesia’s wild animal and dog/cat meat markets here: https://www.dropbox.com/home/Indonesia%20Extreme%20Markets

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Media contact: Wendy Higgins whiggins@hsi.org

#BeCrueltyFree Canada once again joins forces with Alberta-born campaign partner

Humane Society International / Canada


mustafagull/iStock.com

MONTREAL–This Valentine’s Day the Canadian government received a very special video message from actress Tricia Helfer (Van Helsing, Lucifer) on behalf of Humane Society International and the #BeCrueltyFree Canada campaign, calling for a federal ban on cosmetic animal testing and trade.

“As a proud Canadian, it breaks my heart to know that my country still allows animal testing for cosmetics,” said Ms. Helfer, who has supported HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign since 2015. “As this next session of Parliament gets underway, we have a renewed opportunity – and obligation – to ensure that our Government steps up and legislates an end to this archaic practice. Have a Heart, Canada – #BeCrueltyFree.”

Ms. Helfer is joined by an overwhelming 87% of Canadians who support a national law to ban animal testing for cosmetics (polling by Insights West in July 2019 on behalf of HSI and Animal Alliance of Canada). Such a move would see Canada join 39 countries that already have similar bans in place.

HSI campaign manager Aviva Vetter said, “We’re grateful to Tricia for using her platform to shine a light on this issue and urge our federal government to take action. More than 1 million Canadians from coast to coast have said no to animal suffering in the name of beauty, and together, we will see an end to this outdated practice.”

Watch Tricia’s video message, and sign HSI’s petition at becrueltyfree.ca to say “no” to cruel cosmetics in Canada.

Broadcast outlets and TV programs can book a live video interview (Skype, FaceTime) with Tricia pending availability and timing. Please call or email media contact below.

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Media Contact: Christopher Pare – office: 514 395-2914 / cell: 438 402-0643, email: cpare@hsi.org

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International which, together with its partners, constitutes one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the web at www.hsicanada.ca.

Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign is at the forefront of the global movement to outlaw animal testing for cosmetics. From Europe to India, Australia and Taiwan, our campaign teams have played a key role in driving 39 countries to take action, and our work continues today in Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, South-East Asia and United States.