New MPs support animal welfare

Seven of eight candidates en-dorsed by a group dedicated to bringing animal welfare issues into the federal campaign were elected as MPs Oct. 19.

Humane Voters Canada said in a news release that it was thrilled with its results.

“This is an amazing victory for the millions of Canadians who want politicians to take animal issues seriously and strengthen legal protections for animals through Parliament,” it said Oct. 20.

Liberals Nathaniel Erskine-Smith in Beaches-East York, Mark Holland in Ajax and Hedy Fry in Vancouver Centre were endorsed by Humane Voters and elected in their respective ridings.

Endorsed NDP MPs include Don Davies of Vancouver Kingsway, Fin Donnelly of New Westminster-Coquitlam and Brian Masse of Windsor West. Green party leader Elizabeth May of Saanich-Gulf Islands completed the list of seven.

Rick Dykstra, the Conservative in St. Catharines, Ont., was the only Humane Voters endorsed candidate who was not elected.

During the campaign, the group sent a questionnaire to candidates and made its endorsements based on their stated support for im-proved animal protection laws.

Humane Voters Canada is a project of the Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund, a group focused on animal protection, including that of food animals and livestock.

Jerry Simonelli, a lawyer and co-director of the group, said its goal is to bring federal laws into alignment with Canadian values regarding animal welfare.

Among the concerns related to livestock are regulations regarding length of transport and adequate enforcement of humane animal treatment on the farm.

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