Investigation at Kawartha Lakes Co-op
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

[NOTE from All-Creatures.org: Wherever animals are raised to be food for humans, there will be atrocious cruelties. And since "poultry" are excluded from both Canadian and U.S. welfare protections, it is essential to stop eating them, since it will most likely be a long time before these laws are changed.]

Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals (CETFA)
June 2011

[Read the entire Kawartha Lakes Co-op investigation report including images (PDF).]

Unfortunately the Livestock Community Sales Act (which governs treatment of animals at Ontario's auctions) excludes poultry. We are urging the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture (OMAFRA) to amend the act to include all birds and poultry. Birds are as capable of experiencing pain and suffering as other animals, and should be afforded equal protection.
Regarding the inhumane handling and loading of the chickens, the auction is in violation of the federal humane transport regulations on at least six counts. However, given the general lack of action by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) who is charged with enforcement of the regulations, we do not have much hope that they will act.

CETFA inspectors recently attended Kawartha Lakes Co-op, a livestock auction in Woodville, Ontario on two occasions. The inspectors found serious problems with the health of the poultry at the auction as well as how the birds were handled and transported.

Many of the birds, including the four CETFA inspectors negotiated release of, had severe respiratory distress, inflamed eye membranes and made rattling noises when breathing. Highly communicable upper respiratory infections were confirmed in all four hens by two separate veterinarians. Possible causes for such infections include poor housing climate with E. Coli, infectious bronchitis and Newcastle disease. We have serious concerns that such sick animals were brought to, and accepted at, a livestock auction where other immune-compromised animals and the public are put at risk.

The handling of the birds at Kawartha Lakes Co-op was also shocking. Many of the chickens were "spent" laying hens with fragile, brittle bones, yet they were stuffed into mesh sacks without care for their wings or legs. The bags holding the chickens were then thrown into the trunks of the buyers' cars.

Unfortunately the Livestock Community Sales Act (which governs treatment of animals at Ontario's auctions) excludes poultry. We are urging the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture (OMAFRA) to amend the act to include all birds and poultry. Birds are as capable of experiencing pain and suffering as other animals, and should be afforded equal protection.
However, we believe the auction is in violation of the new provincial Animal Health Act which controls animals with communicable diseases. Therefore we are also calling upon OMAFRA to enforce the act, i.e to seize sick animals or order the owner or auction to provide medical treatment.

Regarding the inhumane handling and loading of the chickens, the auction is in violation of the federal humane transport regulations on at least six counts. However, given the general lack of action by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) who is charged with enforcement of the regulations, we do not have much hope that they will act. We are therefore calling upon the auction to stop the brutal handling of the birds. CETFA inspectors will return to the auction on a routine basis to ensure they do.

The full report can be viewed here (PDF). Copies have been provided to auction management, OMAFRA and the CFIA. We will report back on how each intends to address the issues.

Thank you for standing with us in defending Canada's farm animals.


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