Category: Animal Welfare

Neither side wins with ‘Pig Trial’ verdict

The recent court case of Anita Krajnc, informally called the “Pig Trial,” has come to a close, and the farming community leaves the courtroom with disappointment. Sort of. Rather than a one-sided legal rout for animal rights activism, the verdict delivered in this criminal mischief case actually supports Ontario farmers in a number of ways. Let’s… Read more »

Watching for ‘Cow Signals’ is time well spent

Every time a cow takes a lame step or stands for a long period of time she’s sending a signal. Farmers who read those signals and respond with efforts to improve cow comfort are rewarded with increased cow longevity and more profit in their pocket. That’s the return on investing in Cow Signals, according to Agribrands… Read more »

Krajnc acquitted of criminal mischief charge in pig transport trial

Despite the defence creating over-the-top, headline-grabbing statements in court and using arguments not based on science, Justice David Harris has acquitted activist Anita Krajnc on the charge of criminal mischief related to interfering with hogs while in transit. Justice Harris says activists can protest laws, but they have to do that “within the confines of the laws that… Read more »

CanSheep Launches the Verified Sheep Program

The Canadian Sheep Federation (CanSheep) has announced the launch of the Canadian Verified Sheep Program (CVSP). A rebranding of the Food Safe Farm Practices program, this new program adds two additional modules on animal care and biosecurity. Sheep farmers who have already completed the Food Safe Farm Practices program will only need to complete these… Read more »

CFIA Proposes Changes to Animal Transport Rules

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has proposed changes to the rules for the transportation of animals. Discussions about changes to the transport regulations, most of which have been in place since 1977, have been ongoing for a number of years. The draft amendments were finally published in Canada Gazette on December 3 (read the entire proposal here.) The… Read more »

Dairy Robots Finding A Fit On U.S. Farms

Dairy milking robots have found their niche in Canada, but where do they fit on U.S. dairy farms? The popularity of robots in Canada can be linked to the fact that the technology fits well into this country’s smaller farms and because our supply management system provides a financial footing for farmers to invest. But… Read more »

Controversial Private Member’s Bill C-246 Voted Down

With a count of 198 nays to 84 yeas, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith’s controversial private member’s bill C-246 was voted down in the House of Commons this week. This means the bill is dead and will not move forward to committee. Titled “The Modernizing Animal Protections Act,” Liberal MP Erskine-Smith’s bill focused on banning shark finning and… Read more »

Bill 4, Hydro, & Coyote Kill Compensation: A Conversation with Jeff Leal

The Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference kicked off today in Toronto, Ont., with an opening address by Ontario’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, Jeff Leal. RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney is at the conference, and managed a quick interview with minister Leal following his address. Below Haney asks about farmer competitiveness in the face of… Read more »

Proposed Bill C-246 Could Criminalize Routine Livestock Agriculture Practices

A private member’s bill entitled the “Modernizing Animal Protections Act” will receive second reading on September 28, 2016. The bill is set for a vote in Canada’s House of Commons late next week. While the off-the-hop goals of avoiding shark harvesting in Canadian waters and shutting down puppy mills seem in line with the title,… Read more »

Ontario Bans Coyote Trapping & Hunting in 40 Municipalities

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has announced a hunting and trapping ban on wolves and coyotes across 40 townships, effective immediately. Said to be a step towards protecting Ontario wolves, specifically the recently re-named Algonquin wolf, hunters and trappers will be banned from hunting or trapping wolves and coyotes in three additional districts: The… Read more »

Wild turkeys are not scapegoats for avian disease in Ontario

A lot of angst is simmering in farm circles about the potential for disease to spread between wildlife and domestic livestock, such as poultry. The concerns are warranted, given how quickly disease can race through a herd and create huge losses. But new research from the University of Guelph into the health status of Ontario… Read more »

Pain Mitigation: Just One More Way to Show Producers Care

For some ranchers procedures like dehorning/disbudding, castration and branding are necessary evils of the job. But necessity doesn’t make the work any easier. In an effort to improve animal welfare, and to respond to consumer concerns, the beef industry is addressing procedures like these with pain mitigation, and improved genetics. The Code of Practice for the Care… Read more »

Change Without Expected Results — Taking a Serious Look at Cattle Transport Stress

There are many potential stressors for cattle during transport, as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein pointed out at the recent Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association conference and annual general meeting. Animals have to contend with handling (often by unfamiliar people), a unique environment, mixing with new animals, feed and water restrictions and the energy/focus required to remain on… Read more »

Grandin Questions Cattle Industry on Feet, Legs and Carcass Weights

Are carcass weights too high? Are we not putting enough emphasis on quality feet and legs? These are questions Temple Grandin, well-known cattle handling expert, had ranchers and reporters asking themselves as they filed out of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association’s 103rd annual general meeting and convention. As part of her presentation, Grandin described a survey… Read more »

Farmers Serve Breakfast for 2,000 Consumers

What’s it like to have 2,000 consumers show up for breakfast at your farm? It’s not that big of a deal if you’re organized and have plenty of volunteers, says cash cropper and dairy farmer Evert Veldhuizen. He and his brother, Jan, hosted the latest Ontario ‘Breakfast on the Farm’ event Saturday morning at their… Read more »