Chilliwack dairy owners plead guilty in animal abuse case

Owners of one of Canada’s largest dairies, Chilliwack Cattle Sales of Chilliwack, B.C., have pleaded guilty and been fined for abuse of dairy cows that was captured in an undercover video in 2014. The firm pleaded guilty to three charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and on Dec. 16 was fined $75,000 […] Read more

CFIA dismisses injured cow claims

A Canadian Food Inspection Agency investigation is complete into an August report of an injured dairy cow aboard a livestock transport truck in Ontario. The agency said it followed up with the parties involved and found that one animal had a surface injury that did not compromise its health and well-being during transport. No enforcement […] Read more

Does ‘cage-free’ really lead to better animal welfare?

Farm group releases draft code of practice for laying hens amid conflicting studies about what’s best for animal health

Jackie Wepruk was trying to be tactful, but her body language said otherwise. Wepruk twisted her body and tightened her mouth as she used the words “cage free,” as if it pained her to utter the phrase. Wepruk is general manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council, a group with a diverse array of […] Read more

Bleeding cow images spark calls for change

A commuter who saw and shot video of a bleeding dairy cow aboard a livestock trailer has put a spotlight on the welfare of livestock in transit. Amber Jionet was driving home from work along Highway 401 near Cambridge, Ont., Aug. 20 when she pulled into a rest stop at about 1:30 a.m. A livestock […] Read more

Feedlots adjusting to new animal-care program

The certified audit program was designed by processing companies, scientists, veterinarians and the SPCA

A wide ranging animal-care assessment program is now available for the Canadian feedlot industry. The Canadian Feedlot Animal Care Assessment tool earned certified audit status from the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) last year and has been approved by the National Farm Animal Care Council. The program, spearheaded by the National Cattle Feeders Association, […] Read more

Animal welfare improving by ‘light years’

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Better communication between man and beast would help when it comes to assessing an animal’s welfare. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we just asked the animal,” said Ed Pajor, animal welfare chair at the University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary medicine. Animal welfare has improved, and scientists such as Pajor and Temple […] Read more

Heavier weights, genetics leading to lame beef cattle

Slaughter plants have improved handling and conditions, but new health issues are becoming evident, says animal welfare expert

Animal welfare expert Temple Grandin said she’s seen improvements in handling and overall conditions at slaughter plants over the years, but now she’s seeing other concerns. She said that 20 years ago, only 30 percent of slaughter animals were stunned on the first shot. In 2015, three Canadian plants averaged 99.7 percent. “That is super […] Read more

Livestock trailer hotter despite more holes

More holes in the side of a livestock transport trailer don’t necessarily create better airflow for the animals, researchers have found. Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, senior researcher at Agriculture Canada’s research centre in Lethbridge, said a study looking at two types of patterns — the duffy and the punch hole — produced surprising results. The duffy […] Read more

Proposed bill aims to amend animal cruelty laws

A Conservative MP says the proposed bill may put ‘legitimate and necessary animal use practices in legal jeopardy’

Animal protection groups across Canada support the latest attempt to modernize animal cruelty laws. Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith of Toronto has drafted a private members bill designed to better protect animals in legislation. World Animal Protection International has given Canada a D rating for its dismissal of animal sentience. Its report addresses the language within […] Read more

Poultry expert skeptical of free range benefits

It’s not certain that a commitment by major grocery chains and restaurants to buy cage-free eggs will benefit hens. The animal welfare science around enriched cages versus free-run egg production is murky because each system has pros and cons. “There are really strong advantages for every single (egg production method), and there are disadvantages,” said […] Read more