There are no federal laws in Canada specifically outlining the welfare of animals on animal farms and hatcheries. These animals are not subject to mandatory animal welfare inspection by the government. Government agents inspect farms on rare occasions when a complaint is made. Standards are set by the industry itself, and compliance is voluntary. Any oversight is conducted by the industries themselves. Consequently, torture has become standard industry practice. Beating, mutilation, intensive confinement, sickness, injury, fatigue, pain, fear and suffering are customary. In most cases, these acts of brutality are accepted industry standards.
The federal Codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals govern sheep, goats, poultry, veal calves, pigs, cows, animals raised for their fur, farmed deer and elk, horses and the transportation of livestock. Coordinated by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), the Codes outline minimum requirements with regard to animal management. They outline standards for shelter and housing, food and water, health care, breeding, animal identification, handling and supervision, transportation, sales, yard and processing facilities, and emergency procedures.
Some industry associations have voluntarily developed their own programs to manage animal care among producers. The Turkey Farmers of Canada, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Farmers of Canada, Canadian Dairy Farmers Federation, Canadian Hatchery Federation, among many others in the food animal industry claim to be committed to the Codes of Practice and animal welfare for their respective industries.
Shortly after hatching, chicks are debeaked using a hot blade or laser. Although a chicken’s beak is highly innervated, this procedure is performed without anesthesia or painkillers. These are accepted industry standards.
Thousands of egg-laying hens are routinely crammed inside tiny wire battery cages so small that they cannot spread their wings, walk, or engage in natural behaviors. They get trapped in cage wire, mangled by factory machinery, and suffer from open wounds without proper veterinary care. Workers smash the heads of live chicks and throw them (many of whom are still alive and conscious) into plastic garbage bags to slowly suffocate or into incinerators to be burned alive. High speed maceration of chicks is also allowed. These are accepted industry standards.
In the pork industry, piglets have their tails cut and the males among them are castrated, all without anesthetic. Sub-standard piglets are killed by being swung by their hind legs, striking their head against any nearby hard object. Afterwards, they are thrown into a pile of piglets, some of whom are still alive. Sows that are no longer productive are killed using bolt guns to the head. The device does not always work effectively. These practices
Délimax Veal – QC 2014
At a Delimax affiliated veal factory farm, an undercover investigation by Mercy for Animals (MFA) shows calves crammed into tiny wooden crates, often chained at the neck and unable to turn around or lie down comfortably. The video shows workers kicking, punching and force-feeding milk to baby calves. One sick calf is shown bleeding profusely from a shotgun wound to the head following a failed attempt at euthanasia. It is finally killed by a second rifle shot.
Horizon Hatchery – ON 2014
Horizon is a chicken hatchery owned by Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada’s leading retailers of chicken. Another undercover investigation by MFA at Horizon Hatchery, shows chicks flung by their wings and slammed into metal dividers; dead chicks coming out of a dishwasher, others burned, and drowned; sick and injured birds being crammed into macerators.
Creekside Farms and Kuku Farms – AB 2013
An undercover videotape at Creekside farms and Kuku farms shows sick and injured chicks being killed by a practice called “thumping” – where a bird is smashed against a hard surface to kill it. The MFA video shows several surviving birds left in a garbage bag along with a pile of already dead chicks. The video also revealed thousands of egg-laying hens crammed inside tiny wire battery cages, workers throwing live chicks into trash bags to suffocate, and dead hens left to rot in cages with live birds still laying eggs for human consumption.
When the news broke out about Creekside and Kuku, The Egg Farmers of Canada immediately sent the following letter to their members asking them to KEEP THEIR DOORS LOCKED. The recommendations in their letter totally contradict the fluffy claims made on their website.
The proverbial fox is guarding the hen house.