Humane Society International


HSI

On May 22, Humane Society International hosted a webinar with three companies that have successfully transitioned to sourcing eggs exclusively from cage-free hens. Representing various business sectors, retailer Casa Santa Luzia, global hotel chain Marriott, and pet food company Special Dog, have each demonstrated how corporations can expand their ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives by transitioning to a cage-free supply chain.

HSI kicked off the webinar with an overview of the growing number of companies prioritizing animal welfare in their ESG initiatives. Globally, over 2,000 companies, including more than 160 in Brazil, have committed to transitioning to cage-free practices. HSI commended Casa Santa Luzia, Marriott, and Special Dog for their successful transitions to cage-free production systems, noting that the companies are sending a powerful message to their peers and producers, while changing the lives of countless animals for the better.

Representing the retail sector, Casa Santa Luzia, a high-end retailer from the state of São Paulo, opened the panel discussion. Luciana Lopes, coordinator of the Sustainable Action Program at Casa Santa Luzia, provided an overview of the company’s commitment to sustainable practices and its supply chain process. “The retail sector plays a very important role in educating on sustainability. And that is what we are trying to do every day,” said Lopes. In 2023, Casa Santa Luzia sold 2.5 million shell eggs, and will continue to only sell eggs from cage-free hens moving forward.

Next to speak was Marriott, represented by Jason Silva, the company’s procurement manager at Renaissance Hotel São Paulo. Silva emphasized Marriott’s dedication to high animal welfare standards and sustainable practices among its suppliers. Acknowledging HSI’s crucial support, Silva stated, “HSI has been helping us understand if suppliers are, in fact, meeting the parameters we want in terms of animal welfare. This is the most critical part of our company’s process of homologation [assessing and aligning] of new suppliers.” In 2023, the company purchased approximately 2.5 million shell eggs and 27 thousand pasteurized eggs.

Special Dog, the first pet food company in Brazil to complete its cage-free transition, concluded the presentations. João Paulo, Special Dog’s sustainable development manager, emphasized how animal welfare is essential in producing high quality pet food, indicating that the company has expanded its commitments to sustainable practices accordingly. Paulo stated, “Special Dog’s sustainability initiatives reach consumers and is today a competitive differential compared to other pet food manufactured brands. Cage-free comes to add to these efforts.” It is estimated that the lives of over 100,000 hens have been positively affected by the company’s shift to cage-free practices.

Anna Souza, policy and program manager in Farm Animal Welfare and Protection at HSI Brazil, closed the event with a final message: “A commitment to cage-free sourcing is not only a pledge to improve animal welfare, but a foundation for the sustainable development of businesses in all sectors. The future of egg production is cage-free.”

The full event recording can be accessed here (in Portuguese).

Recordings per section can be found below:

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Media contact: Anna Cristina Souza: asouza@hsi.org.

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


Ask them to make pledges on 10 key issues to help ensure a kinder future for animals

This is a rejection of once-in-a-generation opportunity to end slaughter at sea, says Humane Society International

Humane Society International / Global


Minke whale
Nature Picture Library/Alamy

REYKJAVÍK, Iceland—As news breaks that Iceland’s Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir will renew a one-year commercial whaling licence to whaling company Hvalur hf., despite clear evidence of immense animal suffering, global animal protection charity Humane Society International calls it a devastatingly disappointing decision.

An independent report published last year by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority revealed some whales killed in Icelandic hunts had taken up to two hours to die, with 41% of whales suffering immensely before dying for an average of 11.5 minutes. Such suffering was deemed in contravention of the country’s Animal Welfare Act.

Adam Peyman, director of wildlife programs at Humane Society International, said: “It is devastatingly disappointing that Minister Gunnarsdóttir has set aside unequivocal scientific evidence demonstrating the brutality and cruelty of commercial whale killing and allowed whales to be killed for another year. There is simply no way to make harpooning whales at sea anything other than cruel and bloody, and no amount of modifications will change that. Whales already face myriad threats in the oceans from pollution, climate change, entanglement in fish nets and ship strikes, and fin whale victims of Iceland’s whaling fleet are considered globally vulnerable to extinction. With the need for whale protection so critical. This is a rejection of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end the slaughter at sea. There is a new shameful entry in the conservation history books―Iceland had a chance to do the right thing and it chose not to.”

Fast facts:

  • The International Whaling Commission agreed to enact a global moratorium on all commercial whaling in 1986.
  • Iceland left the IWC in 1992 but returned in 2002 with an exception to the moratorium, despite objections from multiple nations. Since re-joining the IWC, Iceland had killed more than 1,500 whales, including fin whales.
  • Iceland suspended hunting fin whales in 2016 due to a declining market for whale meat in Japan. Hunting resumed for the 2018 season when 146 fin whales were killed, including a pregnant female and a rare fin-blue hybrid whale, plus six minke whales. Icelandic whalers killed a single minke whale between 2019 and 2021, and 148 fin whales in 2022.
  • Fin whales are classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as globally vulnerable to extinction despite decades of recovery since the commercial whaling moratorium.

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

The initiative, that’s first launched in Mysore, enables communities to learn about snakes around them and puts first aid for snakebites at their fingertips

Humane Society International / India


Shaili Shah/HSI HSI/India’s wildlife team member Anisha Iyer engages with the community members and snakebite survivors and educates them about a WhatsApp chatbot that enables them with information on snakebites, types of snakes, how to prevent a snakebite, do’s and don’ts after a snakebite etc.

Mysore, KARNATAKA—Karnataka’s first-of-its-kind WhatsApp chatbot has been launched in Mysore to educate citizens about snakes and snakebite prevention. The chatbot, launched by Humane Society International/India in collaboration with The Liana Trust, provides easily accessible information about snake species found in the local vicinity, as well as lifesaving snakebite first-aid, snakebite prevention tips, and myth-busting around misinformation about snakes that can lead to acts of cruelty. 

The automated chatbot, accessed via a QR code or messaging “Hi” to +91 9154190472, disseminates engaging, visual content in English or Kannada, making it easy to understand. Through the WhatsApp chatbot initiative, both organizations aim to reach at least a lakh users this year in Mysore to foster coexistence with snakes and prevent snakebites. 

India has an unfortunate reputation for having more snakebites than any other country in the world, contributing to nearly 50% of snakebite deaths across the globe. India witnesses ten lakh snakebites a year leading to nearly 58,000 human snakebite-related deaths annually and nearly 200,000 cases of morbidity, with Karnataka alone having 6,500 reported snakebites in 2023. It is also a neglected tropical disease, classified by the World Health Organization, taking a devastating toll on the socioeconomics of households and the mental health of those affected.  

Many people have an innate fear of snakes for various reasons including a lack of meaningful information about them. This often leads to snakes being killed or relocated to alien habitats where they have little chance of survival. The new app addresses this information vacuum to empower local communities to take swift and informed action when snakes are encountered.  

Vinod Krishnan, human-wildlife coexistence manager at Humane Society International/India, said: “Snakebite is a mass problem which requires a mass solution. As per our survey in the Mysore district, WhatsApp is one of the most used digital apps. Hence, this is an easy platform to reach many people with vital information that could save human lives and prevent snake persecution. While there is venom research and strengthening of healthcare infrastructure overall to ensure quality care for those affected, preventing a bite from occurring and knowing the right first aid once a bite occurs is crucial.”  

Gerry Martin, founder of The Liana Trust, said: “As we progress in avenues of public outreach, our methods need to evolve and keep with the times. The chatbot is a great way to have a continuous dialogue with the community, assess the information they are accessing the most, and add further layers to this such as information on the nearest hospital, ambulance services and so on in the future.”  

HSI/India and The Liana Trust have been working in Mysore district since 2018 through ecological studies, social surveys, community outreach, policy reform and institutional capacity building, all to aid in the development of a model district for snakebite prevention and management. In February 2024, Karnataka became the first state in India to declare snakebite as a notifiable disease. 

Download Photos/Video

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Media Contact: Shaili Shah: 9930591005; sshah@hsi.org 

Humane Society International / Latin America


Eduardo Cabrera

PETEN, Guatemala—Multiple mammals and birds have been released back into the Guatemalan rainforest after being rescued and rehabilitated from incidents of illegal trafficking and cruelty.

Asociacion Rescate y Conservacion de Vida Silvestre, with the support of Humane Society International/Latin America, released the animals in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a protected area that spans 13.3 million acres in Peten. This joint project aims to tackle wildlife trafficking for the pet trade and other human activities that negatively impact wild animals.

The group of animals included one anteater (Tamandua mexicana), two raccoons (Procyon lotor), one margay (Lepardus wiedii) and two royal toucans (Ramphastos sulfuratus). The anteater, margay and toucans are all protected by legislation in Guatemala as endangered.

Both raccoons were rescued as juveniles back in August 2023. They were treated at the ARCAS rescue center before being moved to larger rehabilitation enclosures. These enclosures replicate a wild environment as closely as possible, ensuring the raccoons’ safety and well-being. The adult toucans arrived separately in 2023, allowing them to retain their wild behavior and quickly advance in their rehabilitation process, which ensures that animals can survive in the wild by hunting for food, hiding from predators and learning how to fly, jump or run.

Andrea Borel, executive director of Humane Society International/Latin America said: “The capture of wild animals for the national and international pet trade is a real problem in Guatemala. These animals are often kept in cramped, inadequate conditions not suitable for their species and denied the ability to exhibit their natural behaviors, which can further cause them physical and psychological distress. By supporting and working with our local partner, ARCAS, we are able to help animals regain their freedom as well as increase their wild populations to ensure future breeding in their natural forest habitat where they belong. We also work together on awareness raising to urge citizens not to buy products from wildlife and to report any such suspicious activity to the authorities.”

ARCAS director Fernando Martinez said: “Our mission is to reinforce existing wildlife populations, to prevent the extinction of species and thus ensure that there are healthy populations capable of adapting and reproducing in their natural habitat. We are proud that our rescue center is a pioneer in endemic species rehabilitation and release in our region, and we appreciate HSI/Latin America’s support.”

ARCAS carries out the physical, medical and behavioral rehabilitation of victims of wildlife trafficking and exploitative human activities, under strict scientific management standards. HSI/Latin America and ARCAS have been working together in wildlife protection and conservation in Guatemala since 2007. The release was conducted with the authorization of Guatemalan authorities from the National Council for Protected Areas, or CONAP.

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Media contact: Grettel Delgadillo: gdelgadillo@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Latin America


HSI

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica—This year, Humane Society International/Latin America has conducted three comprehensive trainings for Costa Rican authorities on how to properly handle wildlife either seized or rescued in police and judicial operations. According to the Judicial Police’s Specialized Section against Environmental Crimes, between 2022 and 2023, 534 wild animals were seized in Costa Rica.

These workshops are part of the “Improving Costa Rica’s capacity to combat wildlife trafficking” project, funded by the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and administered by Humane Society International in coordination with Costa Rica’s National Environmental Security Commission.

During the workshops, public officials learned how to properly handle seized or rescued wildlife, how to protect people involved in confiscation processes and how to feed and transport wild animals. They also learned about a new online guidebook designed to help enforcement officers identify different species and to provide them with information on legal protections, conservation status and handling techniques for different animals.

“For the Attorney General’s Office, ongoing training and inter-institutional coordination are key to environmental law enforcement. Knowing how to properly manage seized wild animals, their products and by-products, is the best way to guarantee, first, protection of these public domain assets and, second, appropriate sanctions for people who are illegally hunting and trafficking them,” said Jose Pablo Gonzalez, deputy environmental prosecutor and national environmental security commission coordinator for the Costa Rica Attorney General’s Office.

“The majority of wild animals seized or rescued in police and judicial operations have experienced captivity, stress and abuse. That is why at HSI we seek to support law enforcement authorities so that they are prepared to handle these animals in a humane and safe way, not only thinking about the animals themselves but also the safety and wellbeing of the people involved”, said Andrea Borel, executive director of HSI/Latin America.

Officials from the Ministry of Public Security (police force, national coast guard service, border police and air control) attended the workshops, as well as officials from the Ministry of Environment and Energy (the National System of Conservation Areas, the National Commission for Biodiversity and the Administrative Environmental Tribunal), the National Animal Health Service (SENASA), the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) and the Attorney General’s Office.

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Media contact: Alejandra Zuniga: alezuniga@outlook.com

Humane Society International


David Paul Morris

DA NANG, Viet Nam—Humane Society International applauds An Phu Farm, a farm-to-fork food store chain in central Viet Nam, for its commitment to improve animal welfare. After dialogue with HSI, the company has pledged to phase out the purchase of eggs and pork products from farms that use intensive cage and crate confinement systems, and will apply this policy to its own pig and egg farms, with a commitment to fully implement by 2025.

An Phu Farm prides itself on being a sustainable food retailer in Da Nang with a vision to bring the best quality and sustainable products to customers. After nearly 10 years in business, An Phu Farm has six food stores, and both an egg farm and a pig farm, operations the company plans to expand in the years to come.

Discussing its commitment, Phan Anh Tu, CEO of An Phu Farm stated: “We are pleased to become the first chain in central Viet Nam to join the global cage-free movement. Our team is excited about this new journey and we look forward to working with suppliers and other stakeholders to implement this important commitment.”

Under An Phu Farm’s plan, eggs from all company-owned farms will be certified by an animal welfare certification program as the company moves to go cage-free by 2024 and guarantee that 100% of the eggs it gets from external suppliers will be cage-free by 2025 in all retail stores. The company has also set the target of becoming an animal welfare-certified pig producer that doesn’t use gestation crates by the end of 2025.

In its commitment, An Phu Farm joins companies including Pizza4P’s and Fusion hotels, among others in Viet Nam, that are working to improve animal welfare in their supply chains.

Cage-free housing for hens in egg production and group-housing for gestating sows provide opportunities for the animals to move freely and to express their most fundamental natural behaviors.  Cage-free systems are a tremendous step up from the antiquated intensive cage and crate confinement commonly used in the industry. Gestation crates are barely larger than a sow’s own body and are so narrow that she cannot even turn around. Similarly, hens cannot even spread their wings or take more than a few steps in cage system housing.

Cage and crate-free housing are supported by leading international scientists and animal welfare scientists, and in response to consumer demand, companies and producers around the world are making this transition.

Hang Le, regional farm animal welfare manager for HSI in Southeast Asia, says: “Many companies and producers in Viet Nam have acted to improve the welfare of farmed animals. The pioneering commitment of An Phu Farm in central Viet Nam confirms that cage-free and group housing are the future.”

HSI works with companies and producers in various sectors, from retail to food manufacturing, to transition to higher welfare systems, such as cage-free egg production. In addition, we work with institutions to include more plant-based and protein alternatives for a more sustainable future.

Media contact: Phuong Tham: phuongth@hsi.org

Chinese fur production has shrunk by almost 90% in last decade, but millions of animals still suffering despite public health risks

Humane Society International


Investigation

BEIJING—Alarming footage from fur farms in north China shows foxes, raccoon dogs and mink exhibiting repetitive, stereotypical behaviour associated with mental decline and animals kept in intensive conditions including in close proximity to poultry, despite the potential for zoonotic disease spread. The animal protection charity Humane Society International has released the footage and renewed its call for a global end to the fur trade.

Investigators visited five fur farms in December 2023 in the northern regions of Hebei and Liaoning where they also witnessed widespread use of antibiotics and the sale of raccoon dog carcasses for human consumption.

Official statistics from China’s Fur and Leather Industry Association reveal a 50% decline in the country’s fur production from 2022 to 2023 and a decline of almost 90% during the period 2014 to 2023, consistent with an overall decrease in global fur production . The investigators observed that a significant number of the rural small and medium sized fur farms previously active in the area had closed due to poor sales. Although still the largest fur-producing country in the world, China’s trade cannot escape the global consumer and designer shift away from fur on both animal welfare and environmental grounds.

Chinese investigator Xiao Chen said: “The fur farms we visited were typical of fur farms across China where animals are sadly held in cramped, barren cages, many pacing up and down repetitively due to psychological distress. These are naturally inquisitive, energetic animals but they are reduced to this sad existence in a wire cage with nowhere to go and nothing to do. I cannot imagine their frustration and boredom, all to produce something as trivial as fur fashion. I feel ashamed to be a human when I visit these fur farms and see the cruelty and indifference of which we are capable.”

Each of the fur farms visited kept between 2,000 – 4,000 fur bearing animals in small cages so packed together that in some cases the mink or raccoon dogs could touch animals in neighbouring cages through the wire walls, making disease transfer a possibility. Despite the many hundreds of COVID-19 and avian influenza cases confirmed on fur farms globally since 2020, the fur farmers confirmed to the investigators that they don’t routinely sterilize the farms because of cost considerations. Despite not being asked by any of the farmers to abide by disease prevention protocols before entering, the investigators took their own precautions.

The food preparation areas on several fur farms showed large quantities of frozen fish, chicken meat and liver, eggs and milk powder being ground up into paste to feed to animals. In addition to contributing to fur farming’s carbon footprint, feeding raw chicken meat to animals on fur farms has been identified by EU experts as a biosecurity risk.

Veterinarian Professor Alastair Macmillan, who viewed the footage, said: “As a veterinary microbiologist, I am deeply concerned by the apparent lack of biosecurity and potential for transmission of avian influenza due to chickens and ducks moving freely between cages of raccoon dogs. That demonstrates a ready route of transmission via direct contact or faecal contamination. Cases of avian influenza have already been documented on European fur farms and such close proximity between species significantly heightens the risk of avian-to-mammal transmission. The high stocking density of raccoon dogs could also facilitate virus adaptation to mammalian hosts and the selection of virus strains capable of transmitting between mammals. The sale of raccoon dog carcasses and cooked meat for human consumption also raises concerns about the potential for zoonotic disease transmission.”

The investigation found that the most common killing method on the fur farms is electric shock applied via the mouth and rectum, although some farm operators kill mink by smashing their heads against a metal pole or beating them over the head with a club. There are a number of markets in the region where animal carcasses from fur farms are sold for approximately 2-3 yuan/kg. One local restaurant visited by the investigators offered boiled, fried and marinaded raccoon dog meat for sale to local customers for around 20 yuan and confirmed that it cooked 42 raccoon dogs a day.

Dr Peter Li, HSI’s China policy expert, said: “Although this investigation took place in China, the animal suffering inherent in the fur trade can also be seen on fur farms across Europe and North America. Mentally disturbed animals, piles of animal filth, barren cages and worrying zoonotic disease risk is in stark contrast to the glamorous image the fur trade tries to portray. But that’s the grim reality behind this industry. China exports fur to countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States and across Europe, making those nations complicit in this cruelty. Responding to so many designers and consumers rejecting fur, fur farming in China has seen a dramatic reduction in recent years. But the end of this cruel, environmentally damaging and dangerous industry cannot come soon enough.”

Download photos and videos from the investigation.

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Media contact: Wendy Higgins, HSI’s director of international media: whiggins@hsi.org

Notes

In 2023, China produced 10 million fox, mink and raccoon dog fur pelts, a more than 50% decrease on the 22 million pelts produced in 2022 and an 88% decline from a decade ago. In 2014, China produced 87 million fur pelts—60 million mink pelts, 14 million raccoon dog pelts and 13 million fox pelts.

A study by carbon footprint experts at Foodsteps, commissioned by Humane Society International and reviewed by renowned sustainability expert Dr Isaac Emery, found that the environmental impacts of mink, fox and raccoon dog fur production significantly exceed those of other materials used in fashion, including cotton and even polyester and acrylic used to make faux fur. A significant component of fur’s carbon footprint is the vast quantity of animal products fed to carnivorous animals on fur farms.

 

 

The African elephant population has declined 60% over the last 50 years

Humane Society International


Waldo Swiegers/AP Images for HSI

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a final rule governing import permits for live African elephants and elephant hunting trophies. This action effectively bans elephant hunting trophy imports from certain countries that serve as major destinations for trophy hunters—a win for the conservation of the species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

“Today’s announcement serves as a victory for the animal welfare and conservation movement, as this is precisely what the Endangered Species Act was designed to accomplish. The U.S. government should not be in the business of promoting the decline of a species, especially one classified as threatened under its own law,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “Elephants are complex, family-centered animals, important within their ecosystems and cherished by people all over the world. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s move is a meaningful step toward saving African elephants from extinction.”

Since the Fish and Wildlife Service classified African elephants as threatened in 1978, their global population has decreased by at least 60% due to poaching, habitat loss and other compounding threats. Trophy hunting and the capture of live wild elephants for exhibition in U.S. zoos contribute to this decline through direct removals of individuals and ripple effects negatively impacting the overall health and survival of family groups.

“For decades the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been allowing African elephant imports without current population data, transparency or effective oversight,” said Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. “With African elephants’ rapid global population decline and the abrupt reversals in federal protections between administrations, this new revision to the regulation will help the agency make decisions that enhance the survival of the species in the wild, instead of incentivizing its decline. Considering how the U.S. is one of the world’s worst offenders in the elephant hunting trophy trade, we thank U.S. Secretary of the Interior Secretary Haaland and the Fish and Wildlife Service for taking these steps to protect endangered and threatened species.”

The new revision clarifies guidelines for granting import permits. It also strengthens the agency’s oversight capacity and the transparency of the permit application process. The U.S. imports more hunting trophies than any other country in the world, accounting for 75% of global hunting trophy imports and almost 25% of global elephant hunting trophy imports between 2014 and 2018. The revised rule heightens the criteria required for the Fish and Wildlife Service to authorize imports, including from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia—the top exporters of elephant hunting trophies to the U.S.—making it harder for trophy hunters to import their hunting spoils and for captive wildlife facilities such as zoos bring animals taken from the wild into the U.S. for exhibition.

“The agency’s new rule is a strong step in the right direction to finally gain transparency and oversight on this highly politicized and harmful trade in African elephants killed for fun and gruesome souvenirs,” said Jeff Flocken, president of Humane Society International. “We will continue to fight for a full ban on the trade in African elephant hunting trophies, and we hope this sets a precedent that can be applied to other countries and to other imperiled species, like lions, giraffes and leopards.”

Under the Obama administration in 2014, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued rules suspending the importation of elephant trophies from Tanzania and Zimbabwe into the U.S. In 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Service under the Trump administration withdrew that rule and began to allow the import of elephant trophies on a case-by-case basis, although former President Donald Trump tweeted about the trophy hunting aspect of the rule, saying he was “very hard pressed to change [his] mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of elephants or any other animal.” Now, the Biden administration has heightened the criteria for what imports are allowed into the U.S.

In January, Belgium’s parliament voted unanimously to prohibit the import of hunting trophies from many endangered species into the country. This comes after the Netherlands instituted a ban on the import of hunting trophies for more than 200 species and France implemented a ban on the import of lion hunting trophies in 2015.

Photos and videos available upon request.

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Media contact: Kate Sarna: 202-836-1265; ksarna@hslf.org

Humane Society International / Canada


Wolf in the snow
Marco Arduino/Alamy Stock Photo

OTTAWA, Ontario—Wolf Awareness, WeHowl, Animal Justice, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society International/Canada and Animal Alliance of Canada are applauding a decision by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency to cease the use of the poison strychnine for killing wild animals, including wolves, coyotes and black bears. 

The decision to cancel the registration of products containing this dangerous poison follows years of advocacy and campaigning, including a request for special review of strychnine and other predacides filed by a coalition of groups in December 2020. Today’s decision reverses the PMRA’s initial proposal in August 2022 to allow the continued use of both strychnine and Compound 1080. That proposed decision was widely condemned by animal protection and conservation groups because of the cruel nature of these indiscriminate poisons and the serious harm that they cause to the environment.   

Strychnine is notorious for causing some of the most agonizing symptoms of any poison, including muscular convulsions that can last up to 24 hours or longer before an animal finally succumbs to exhaustion or suffocation. Due to its gruesome nature, it featured prominently in Agatha Christie murder mystery novels. 

In addition to the unnecessary pain the poison inflicts on its intended targets, it is known to recklessly kill hundreds of non-target animals each year, including companion dogs, birds of prey and endangered species. These animals suffer and die after consuming poison baits or from consuming the bodies of other poisoned animals. 

“This decision is a huge victory for wild animals across Canada,” said Kaitlyn Mitchell, director of legal advocacy with Animal Justice. “Strychnine is among the most gruesome poisons in existence. We are thrilled that animals will no longer endure the agony of strychnine poisoning on the Canadian landscape.”    

“Strychnine not only kills the intended wolves, coyotes, black bears and skunks,” said Hannah Barron, conservation director with Wolf Awareness. “It also kills countless other animals unintentionally, including golden eagles, lynx, ravens, grizzly bears and companion dogs, to name a few. Getting rid of this indiscriminate poison gets Canada one step closer to meeting its biodiversity targets under the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.”  

“There is a growing body of scientific evidence showing that lethal removal of large carnivores, including through poisoning, is not an effective way to reduce predation on livestock,” said Sadie Parr, organizer of WeHowl. “There are more effective ways to prevent conflicts, which are also more ethical and environmentally responsible. Many Canadians are already using such methods with success.” 

“Canada’s use of strychnine to kill wildlife is an issue that attracted the attention of hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens in Canada and beyond. We are thrilled that Health Canada has reversed their previous decision, and finally canceled all uses of strychnine” said Sheryl Fink, director of Canadian wildlife issues with IFAW.  

I want to thank the Minister of Health and the folks at the Pest Management Regulatory Agency for banning the use of strychnine in Canada,” said Liz White, director of Animal Alliance of Canada. “No longer will this predacide be spread on the landscape indiscriminately killing wolves, coyotes and many other wild animals.” 

“We are thrilled with Health Canada’s decision to ban this deplorable poison, which has no place in wildlife management,” said Kelly Butler, wildlife campaign manager at Humane Society International/Canada. “This ban will spare so many animals from horrific, prolonged and needless deaths and we commend the government for taking this step towards improving welfare outcomes for wildlife and removing poisons from Canada’s ecosystems.” 

While the animal protection and environmental groups are relieved following PMRA’s decision to end the use of strychnine by September, it remains urgent for the PMRA to also ban Compound 1080, another poison also used to kill wolves and coyotes. It causes vomiting, convulsions, intense pain and hallucinations to animals who ingest it, and is unacceptably cruel. 

Similar to strychnine, the effects of Compound 1080 can last hours or even days before an animal dies from cardiac failure or respiratory arrest. 

According to a national Environics poll commissioned by Wolf Awareness, Animal Alliance and Animal Justice, 69% of Canadians say that the risks posed by strychnine and Compound 1080 used in Canadian wildlife management programs are unacceptable. 

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Media Contacts: 

 

Sadie Parr 

Wolf researcher/advocate and Organizer of WeHowl 

sadieparrwolfpact@gmail.com 

250-272-4695 

 

Hannah Barron 

Conservation Director, Wolf Awareness 

hannah@wolfawareness.org 

647-567-8337 

 

Kaitlyn Mitchell 

Director of Legal Advocacy, Animal Justice 

kmitchell@animaljustice.ca 

647-764-8702 

 

Sheryl Fink 

Director, Canadian Wildlife Campaigns. IFAW Canada 

sifnk@ifaw.org 

519-830-0046 

 

Kelly Butler 

Wildlife Campaign Manager, Humane Society International/Canada 

kbutler@hsi.org 

514 914-7607 

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