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Is your organization a member of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies? Then we want you to join our online member community! Please use the form below to apply to access members only content, critical updates from our CEO, exclusive resources and a discussion forum where you can connect with others who are doing the same work as you across the country.Sign up
The Five Freedoms is a core concept in animal welfare that originated in a UK government report in 1965 and was then refined by the Farm Animal Welfare Council. It states that an animal’s primary welfare needs can be met by safeguarding the following five freedoms:
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
- Freedom from Discomfort by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
- Freedom from Fear and Distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
The Five Freedoms is a concept that is frequently referenced by animal welfare professionals around the world, especially in relation to farm animal care.
Thank you for taking action to support Bill S-203, which would ban the import, export, public display, live capture and captive breeding of whales, dolphins and porpoises in Canada. If passed, this Bill will create much-needed protections for these animals and put to rest the cruel practice of cetacean captivity.
Here is a sample form letter you can use to model your email to the Senate:
Bill S-203 is an important Bill that would ban the import, export, public display, live capture and captive breeding of whales, dolphins and porpoises in Canada. If passed, this Bill will create much-needed protections for these animals and put to rest the cruel practice of cetacean captivity.
These self-aware, social and intelligent creatures are being kept in confined, isolated conditions in Canada, and Bill S-203 would end that. Bill S-203 does not threaten indigenous rights and freedoms, which are protected under the Constitution. The Bill can be easily amended to clarify it does not derogate any rights in relation to carved narwhal tusks or other products. Contrary to what some have said, cetaceans can still be rescued and rehabilitated in Canada under Bill S-203. These crucial activities would not be curbed in any way. Note that the Whale Sanctuary Project is considering sites in Nova Scotia and British Columbia for retiring cetaceans, which would give them a home that meets all of the accepted benchmarks of animal welfare, including the Five Freedoms and the Five Domains.
The objectives of research, rescue and rehabilitation, Aboriginal trade and public education that are so important to Canadians can continue to be met without keeping whales, dolphins and porpoises captive in aquarium holding tanks.
Please send Bill S-203 to Third Reading in the Senate. It is what Canadians want.
Learn more about the programs, activities and achievements of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies! Check out our most recent annual reports to find out how we're elevating animal welfare in Canada.
Audited Financial Statements
As Canada's voice for animal welfare, we want to make sure that our website is meeting your needs for information and resources. Thanks for taking the time to give us your feedback! This survey includes three consecutive questions.
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Linda Barber, Ottawa ON
Tara Hellewell, Red Deer AB
Amber Mack, Red Deer AB
Dianna Flannery, Hamilton ON
Miranda Jordan-Smith, Edmonton AB, Vice Chair
Melissa Devlin Parker, Red Deer AB
Anne Sutherland, Toronto ON
Charlene Weiss, Edmonton AB
Dayna Desmarais, Ottawa ON
Jennifer Rose, Ottawa ON
Peggie Pelosi, Toronto ON
Dr. Jane Young, Bracebridge ON, Chair
Deanna Thompson, Rocky View AB
Carrie Fritz, Okotoks AB
Sue Norton, Ottawa ON
Cheryl Albuquerque, Toronto ON
Shannon Giust, Ottawa, ON
Liz Torleé, Toronto ON
Judith Goldberg, Richmond Hill ON
Sharon Campbell-Rayment, Kent Bridge ON
Carissa MacLennan, Toronto ON
Genevieve Cavanagh, Ottawa ON
Marta Etynkowski, Toronto ON
Nancy Penrose, Brighton ON
If you would like to join Women for a Humane Canada, download our member information package here.
We want to build a humane Canada with you
If you're a rescue, sanctuary, municipal animal control agency or animal advocacy group looking to connect with a national federation of SPCAs and humane societies, you've come to the right place. We welcome you to add your voice to the largest animal welfare community in Canada!
CFHS Associate Structure
Note that voting membership is only available to Humane Societies and SPCAs.
Non-voting membership in CFHS is based on the following criteria:
- Your organization agrees that CFHS represents you at the national level.
- Your organization supports industry-recognized shelter standards and guidelines.
Potential associates might include the following types of organizations:
Municipally-run animal control agencies
Spay/neuter or feral cat care groups
Animal associations (organizations that are a collective of other groups)
Registered not-for-profit animal welfare organizations
International animal welfare groups
Please note that the following organizations are not eligible to become associates of CFHS:
Humane Societies or SPCAs
For-profit animal control agencies
*Individuals: CFHS does not currently have a membership program for individuals. But you can join us in our fight to improve the lives of Canada's animals by subscribing to our free newsletter or by helping to fund our work.
The annual associate fee is only $200.
Do you meet the criteria above?
Apply to become a CFHS Associate here.
Expand your reach and influence!
As Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies, CFHS invites Canadian humane societies and SPCAs that share our guiding principles to join our network as full voting members of our organization. Note that voting membership is only available to SPCAs and humane societies.
Not an SPCA or humane society? Become a CFHS Associate!
Voting membership in CFHS is based on the following criteria:
- Your organization agrees that CFHS represents you and all of our members at the national level.
- Your organization is a registered Canadian not-for-profit or charity that has been incorporated for a minimum of 3 years, either provincially or federally, with a Board that is independent of its staff.
- Your organization has an animal welfare mandate for a given geographic area (i.e.: either a provincial body or a city-based or regional organization).
- Your organization has the legal authority to conduct cruelty investigations.
- Your organization operates an animal shelter and strives to meet industry-recognized shelter standards and guidelines.
Note that CFHS does not currently have a membership program for individuals, but you can join us in our fight to improve the lives of Canada's animals by helping to fund our work.
Do you meet the criteria above?
Apply to become a CFHS member here.
Thank you for taking the time to contact the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.
Frequenty asked questions
You are encouraged to review our frequently asked questions section in order to help answer any questions you have.
CFHS does not conduct animal cruelty investigations. Find out how to report animal abuse here.
If you have any specific questions about your pet(s), please contact your local veterinarian or animal hospital.
Contact us by mail:
Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
102-30 Concourse Gate
Toll-free: 1-888-678-CFHS (2347)