Senate Committee to Study Ag Gag Bill That Conceals Cruelty

Related Articles

The Senate is working to pass harmful legislation designed to cover up animal abuse on Canadian farms. Bill C-275 has passed second reading, and is now moving to the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry where it will be further studied.

script type="text/javascript"> atOptions = { 'key' : 'b9117458396fd1972f19bab359dbc64a', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} }; document.write('');

Bill C-275 is what is known as an “ag gag” bill. Agricultural gag legislation is designed to punish compassionate citizens who attempt to expose suffering of countless cows, pigs, and chickens who are locked inside secretive factory farms. The bill has already passed through the House of Commons and is getting dangerously close to becoming law.

How does Bill C-275 aim to threaten advocates while concealing suffering? The legislation falsely presents itself as a biosecurity bill. Yet it would do nothing to prevent disease risks on farms. Most disease risks come from the actions of farms, which regularly violate voluntary biosecurity protocols. Shockingly, the bill shields farms from prosecution for breaching biosecurity, while instead targeting whistleblowers and other citizens with steep fines and even jail time if they visit a farm without permission.

According to the government’s own data, analyzed by Animal Justice, animal advocates have never introduced a disease at a farm. Diseases usually result from poor biosecurity practices at farms, or from exposure to wild animals carrying viruses. Indeed the very nature of confining animals in filthy and crowded factory farms poses a huge risk for the creation and spread of zoonotic diseases.

script type="text/javascript"> atOptions = { 'key' : 'b9117458396fd1972f19bab359dbc64a', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} }; document.write('');

The real biosecurity risks are created by farms themselves, yet disease threats caused by farmers and farm workers are not covered by Bill C-275. The bill is a thinly-disguised effort to punish animal advocates while protecting farms from being exposed for poor conditions. 

Avian Flu Ravages Farms in Canada & Abroad

The crowded and filthy conditions inherent in factory farms create the perfect breeding grounds for the development and spread of dangerous zoonotic diseases. For example, avian influenza (H5N1) is spreading to cows and even dairy farm workers at an alarming rate across the US and likely Canada, after jumping the species barrier from birds.

Recently, it was announced that a new virus called Avian metapneumovirus subtype B (aMPV B), has emerged in Southwestern Ontario. This virus, which attacks the respiratory system of birds, has already resulted in the mass killing of 253 turkeys.

script type="text/javascript"> atOptions = { 'key' : 'b9117458396fd1972f19bab359dbc64a', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} }; document.write('');

For years, Animal Justice has been sounding the alarm about the inherent pandemic risk associated with factory farming animals and the cruelty of the mass culling of animals on farms, which is the heartbreaking outcome when animals are infected.

Nitrogen foam is one way that egg farms perform mass exterminations of birds who are either sick or are no longer profitable because their bodies have given out after years of egg production. Other methods accepted by the industry include snapping or crushing the necks of birds, poisoning birds with carbon dioxide gas, and ventilation shutdown. In ventilation shutdown, air circulation is shut off and birds are left to overheat and suffocate over the course of many hours. Ventilation shutdown is common in the United States, although it is not clear how common it is in Canada.

Animal Justice is currently offering cash rewards for inside information about how mass depopulation is performed on Canadian farms.

Take Action to Stop Ag Gag Laws

Ag gag laws are a massive risk to animals and to public health. The treatment of animals on farms is almost completely unregulated, and government inspectors don’t visit farms to evaluate animal welfare conditions.  Instead, numerous exposés by undercover farm workers and other individuals have shown that factory farms are riddled with illegal animal abuse. 

Hidden camera footage has also revealed shocking standard practices that most people find appalling, including slicing off piglets’ tails and testes without pain relief, locking hens in filthy tiny wire cages, and caging pregnant pigs in crates that are so small they can’t turn around. 

These exposés have led to prosecutions and convictions against farms for animal cruelty. Yet ag gag laws aim to prevent whistleblowers from exposing suffering and biosecurity risks on farms, which puts animals and the public at risk of disease outbreaks. Take action today stop ag gag laws in Canada!

Banner Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals Media

More on this topic



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular stories