In this file:
· Canada: Animal welfare is an election issue and voters must continue to speak out for animals says charity
· US: Veterinarians assess Oregon, Colorado animal rights push
· Canada: Erin O’Toole surprises with Conservative platform on animal welfare
· Taiwan: Animal advocates recognize legislators for pushing animal rights legislation
Animal welfare is an election issue and voters must continue to speak out for animals says charity
Source: World Animal Protection
via Newswire.ca (Canada) - Sep 03, 2021
TORONTO, Sept. 3, 2021 /CNW/ - Animal welfare is officially a topic on the campaign trail. Three of the main political parties (Liberals, NDP and Conservatives) have put animal welfare issues in their platforms which is a huge win for animals and the humans who care about them.
And while there's many pressing issues affecting Canadians today, the way we treat animals and our relationship with them directly affects us and is important to address.
The COVID-19 pandemic made that evident, showing us the connection between the global commercial wildlife trade and deadly diseases. Seventy-five per cent of new or emerging infectious diseases over the past decade (e.g. SARS and Ebola) originated from animals, principally from wildlife.
Since it became clear that the wildlife trade very likely played a significant role in the outbreak of COVID-19, global charity World Animal Protection has been urging MPs and the Canadian government to take action to curb the global commercial trade to prevent future pandemics. Canada plays a role in the wildlife trade, as there is demand for wild animals to be used for traditional medicine, luxury fashion or as exotic pets.
Between 2014 and 2019 at least 1.8 million wild animals were imported into Canada from 76 countries and 93 per cent were not subject to any permits or pathogen screening.
The Liberals, Conservatives and NDP have all now made commitments to curb the global wildlife trade.
"It's a positive sign that political leaders are finally recognizing that our federal laws, policies and subsidies are vastly out of touch with Canadian values and opinions on how we should be treating animals," says Melissa Matlow, Campaign Director for World Animal Protection Canada.
She adds that 70 per cent of Canadians believe animal protection and welfare are somewhat or very important issues when deciding who to vote for, this is particularly true for women and Green Party voters.
Industrial animal agriculture is also an issue Canadians are concerned about. A recent poll from EKOS Research shows that almost half of Canadians are very concerned about the environmental effects of eating animals, such as the increase of greenhouse gas emissions associated with animal agriculture.
Yet, no main political party has made a commitment to address the negative impacts of industrial farming in their platforms in this election as of the timing of this release.
To see where parties stand on this and other topics, World Animal Protection sent a survey to the five main political parties and all five responded. In the survey, some parties supported phasing out the use of prophylactic antibiotics in animal farming, and others acknowledged the Canada Food Guide as a credible source which advises Canadians to increase their consumption of plant-based foods.
And while it's clear Canadians care about animals, Canada currently has no national animal welfare legislation. Proper legislation is required to ensure animals are protected from suffering and cruelty.
World Animal Protection has created a new website called Vote for Animals which has resources available for animal advocates. The charity is encouraging people to further raise the issue of the wildlife trade and industrial farming when their electoral candidates come to their door, or when speaking to them on the phone, at community events and all-party debates. A toolkit is available for tips.
Now is the time to create positive change for animals and humans alike by reaching out to electoral candidates and letting them know they must show true leadership and make sure they follow through on platform promises. Ultimately, human, animal and planetary health and welfare are interconnected and that is why a one health, one welfare approach is the way to move forward.
Notes to editors:
Platform commitments related to the wildlife trade:
· The NDP stated that they would launch a 10-year nature plan to reverse species loss and curb the import and domestic trade of wild animals.
· The Conservatives stated that they would commit to supporting and encouraging the closure of poorly regulated wildlife markets globally that carry elevated risk of becoming sources for future pandemics and end the importation of and trade in wild or exotic animals and their products that carry an elevated risk of spreading zoonotic diseases
· And the Liberals stated this week they will work with partners to curb illegal wildlife trade and end elephant and rhinoceros ivory trade in Canada and introduce legislation to protect animals in captivity.
· To see results of the survey responses from the five main parties and to learn more about Vote for Animals click here.
About World Animal Protection
From our offices worldwide, including China, Brazil, Kenya and Canada, we move the world to protect animals. Last year, we gave more than 220 million animals better lives through our campaigns that focus on animals in the wild, animals in disasters, animals in communities and animals in farming. For more information visit www.worldanimalprotection.ca
SOURCE World Animal Protection
For further information: Please contact Nina Devries, [email protected] for interviews with a spokesperson, images and B-roll.
Veterinarians assess Oregon, Colorado animal rights push
Practitioners, farming groups oppose activist bid to limit hunting, breeding
Emma Scher, VIN News Service (CA)
September 2, 2021
Animal rights activists are seeking a change in Oregon law that would criminalize most breeding practices, injuring or killing animals for food, hunting or fishing, and any harm that may come to animals while conducting research, teaching or tethering pets.
The exact ramifications of the initiative are difficult to determine since they do not specifically criminalize an activity itself, but rather, remove exemptions for any harm that may potentially come to an animal during that activity. However, if passed, some activities such as hunting, fishing and the slaughter of livestock would be difficult, if not impossible, to carry out in the state without subjecting one to the possibility of criminal prosecution.
The proposal is in the form of an initiative petition, through which citizens may put law changes to a statewide vote by collecting a minimum number of signatures in support. Initiatives that achieve the needed signatures are then considered by voters, and become law if they receive majority approval.
Proponents of Initiative Petition 13 are in the midst of collecting the 112,020 signatures needed to put the measure before voters on Nov. 8, 2022. Only two of 68 citizen initiative petitions filed in the state for the 2020 election year made it all the way through the signature-verification stage to the ballot, according to Oregon Secretary of State online election records. Both passed.
The initiative petition would eliminate most exemptions to existing state law governing abuse, neglect and assault of animals. One change, for example, would define the act of touching the sex organs of an animal for the purpose of "breeding domestic, livestock and equine animals" as sexual assault. However, this would not apply to "animals subject to good veterinary practices," according to the initiative.
It also would scrub exceptions that permit "any practice of good animal husbandry," slaughter, pest control and scientific research. Any harm that may come to an animal would be excusable only in self-defense and while practicing veterinary medicine...
Similar effort stalls in Colorado ...
Who's behind the push? ...
more, including links
Erin O’Toole surprises with Conservative platform on animal welfare
By Thomas Walkom, Contributing Columnist, Toronto Star (Canada)
Sept. 2, 2021
One of the surprises of this week’s election campaign was Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s decision to focus on animal welfare.
It’s not that he said anything radical. His platform on this issue is relentlessly middle of the road.
But it is surprising that he said anything at all. Most politicians stay away from animal issues. They are too likely to bring grief.
Here is what O’Toole said.
He would ban puppy mills and outlaw the import of animals bred inhumanely. It’s not clear what he means by “puppy mills.” Is he referring to all those who breed dogs for sale or just those who fail to live up to unspecified standards?
He would also give the Canadian Food Inspection Agency more power to enforce existing animal welfare regulations.
In theory, this could be quite important. The CFIA oversees the transport of food animals such as pigs. Most are shipped under overcrowded conditions that do not take animal welfare into account. The CFIA could demand that those shipping pigs and chickens and cattle do more to improve the living conditions of these animals.
In practice, the agency is already under pressure from the livestock industry to avoid regulations that might interfere with profitability. That pressure will not ease if O’Toole becomes prime minister...
Animal advocates recognize legislators for pushing animal rights legislation
By Chen Yun and Kayleigh Madjar, Taipei Times (Taiwan)
Sep 04, 2021
Nine legislators were on Wednesday named Outstanding Lawmakers for Animal Protection by a coalition of advocates for their efforts to improve animal protection regulations.
Protecting animals takes more than just words and social media posts, it takes concerted action to change policies, Taiwan Animal Protection Monitor Network secretary-general Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗?) told a ceremony at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
In the previous legislative session, more legislators proposed laws to protect animals than ever before, with 21 proposing 25 bills for deliberation, Ho said.
Candidates for the award, given by the Animal Protection Legislative Campaign Coalition, expressed concern for a range of issues, expanding beyond household pets and wildlife to include livestock, laboratory subjects, animal performers and more, he said...