Canada’s national voice for animal welfare wants Canada to reconsider brunch

For Immediate Release

Canada’s national voice for animal welfare wants Canada to reconsider brunch

W5 footage of acceptable practices on chicken farms in Canada a must see before you get cracking

October 20, 2013 (Ottawa, Ontario) – On Saturday night Canadians caught a rare glimpse of the reality of life on the modern day industrial farm for the approximately 20 million laying hens in Canada.

The CFHS is absolutely appalled by the conditions that were portrayed in undercover footage shown on W5 on Saturday night, says Barbara Cartwright, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. Due to the intensification and industrialization of farming this is the reality for approximately 20 million laying chickens. It is not acceptable.

90% of laying hens in Canada live in traditional battery cages, they spend their entire lives in a cramped cage the approximate size of a magazine page, unable to open and spread their wings, easily preen their feathers or experience natural light. Their relatively short lives of 1 ½ -2 years are spent continually laying eggs on average 320 eggs per year.

This is not the case in other countries. Under the European Council Directive traditional battery cages were phased out over 10 years and are now illegal (effective January 2012). In Belgium, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands all cages are banned.

All farms should feel confident and comfortable in throwing open their barn doors and welcoming the media and the public in to see how the animals are being raised, says Cartwright. Every Canadian who is thinking about their food must decide what is ethically and morally acceptable to them.

The CFHS believes that food animals deserve our respect on the farm, in transport and in slaughter. Battery cages do not provide an environment in which the hens are free to express natural behaviours and it does not ensure safety from injury, distress or any form of suffering for the hens.

The CFHS advocates for better conditions for laying hens at the National Farm Animal Care Council as it reviews the existing Code of Practice for Poultry – layers. The Code of Practice provides requirements and recommendations on the care and handling of farm animals. Dr. Ian Duncan, featured in the W5 segment, represents the CFHS in these negotiations.

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For media inquiries on Sunday October 20th contact: 
Barbara Cartwright, CEO, 613-291-0862, Barbara@cfhs.ca

For media inquiries on Monday October 21st and later contact:
Kim Elmslie, Communications and Advocacy Manager, 613-224-8072, kime@cfhs.ca

Media Release: Canada’s national voice for animal welfare wants Canada to reconsider brunch
Canada’s national voice for animal welfare wants Canada to reconsider brunch
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