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Protecting farm animals in Chilliwack and beyond

The federal government has committed $2.2 million to improve the Codes of Practice that outline standards of living for farm animals in Canada.  - Submitted
The federal government has committed $2.2 million to improve the Codes of Practice that outline standards of living for farm animals in Canada.
— image credit: Submitted

B.C. farm animals are one step closer to better protection.

The treatment of local animals has been a hot topic of the summer after an undercover Mercy for Animals activist caught abuse on camera at a Chilliwack dairy farm.

This month, the federal government committed $2.2 million to improve the Codes of Practice that outline standards of living for farm animals in Canada.

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) works to update and improve these Codes of Practice, recently helping to introduce the Pig Code, which sets out more than 100 requirements of pig care, to be phased in over the next decade.

With this new funding, the CFHS looks toward introducing similar Codes of Practice to the poultry sector, although many others are also in need of an update—including the Veal Code, which hasn’t seen an update since its introduction in 1998.

Although these Codes of Practice help protect the lives and living conditions of farm animals, the BC SPCA also brings attention to the fact that B.C. doesn’t actually tie these guidelines into the provincial Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, as five other provinces have.

“[The act] refers only to allowing ‘reasonable and generally accepted practices of animal management,’ leaving the courts to interpret this term broadly,” the BC SPCA notes. By directly referencing the Codes of Practice in the act, the BC SPCA states the government would clarify the definition of abuse—leading to better protection for animals and helping hold abusers accountable.

And while these changes to provincial standards and the Codes of Practice aren’t in response to the high-profile expose, the SPCA says this particular case has at the very least brought farm animal abuse into the spotlight.

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