The federal government announced this week it is investing up to $4.56 million in industry-led animal welfare initiatives, including efforts to make the transport of poultry and other livestock safer and more humane.
It granted the funds to the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC), on behalf of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), to help update and develop codes of practice.
Part of the investment will be used to update the transportation codes of practice for the care and handling of farm animals during transport.
The rest of the money will go towards updating the codes of practice for dairy and goats and developing a new code for farmed finfish.
Ryder Lee, chair of the National Farm Animal Care Council, welcomed the government’s commitment.
“Livestock and poultry welfare are important to everyone, from the animals themselves to producers and consumers,” Lee said in a press release.
“We are pleased the Government of Canada has chosen to invest in this project to help improve farm animal well-being and address expectations of consumers and the marketplace.”
One activist group, however, used the announcement to slam the new transport regulations as the “worst in the western world.”
In a press release, Mercy for Animals said the new regulations still fail to address the leading causes of mortality for animals during transport.
Namely, the group says livestock can still be transported up to 36 hours without food, water, or rest, and if animals are provided with food, water, rest, and “adequate” ventilation on board, there are now no limits on transport time.
By comparison, in the European Union animals can be transported up to only eight hours without food, water, or rest.
The activists add that the new regulations still allow animals to be transported in extreme temperatures and with an inadequate amount of space.
The EU, in contrast, enforces clear temperature limits for transport and species-specific stocking densities.
Feds invest in animal welfare initiatives
Funds partly go towards updating code of practice for livestock transport.
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