It was reported last fall that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was undertaking a review of animal transportation regulations for the first time in 30 years. Changes have been drafted and are now available for review at this link.
More than 5,000 Canadians signed a petition to the federal government to ensure the draft laws have animal well-being in mind.
Throughout Canada each year, more than 650 million farm animals are transported from farms to auction and slaughter. In recent years, the food processing industry has become more centralized, fueled by public demand for cheaper food, resulting in longer trips for many animals to slaughter.
These circumstances present a challenge to all of the people responsible for ensuring that these animals do not suffer in transit: the farmers who raised them, the truckers who are carrying them and the processing plants who are purchasing them. However, certain steps can be taken to minimize the negative effects and many of these should be incorporated into law to ensure they are followed.
While on-farm animal welfare falls mainly under the jurisdiction of the provinces, the responsibility of ensuring the humane transportation of animals is borne by the CFIA. The Transportation of Animals Regulations referenced in the Health of Animals Act prohibit the transport of ill or injured animals to prevent undue suffering.