On their site, The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) sent a survey to Canada’s 5 main political parties about important animal welfare issues in the country.The (WSPA) encourages people to review their responses before making a decission at the time of voting
Animal Cruelty Legislation
Canada’s animal cruelty laws were amended recently to increase maximum penalties for some animal cruelty offences. Unfortunately, these changes do very little to address loopholes in the current law that allow animal cruelty to go unpunished.
Does your party support strengthening the animal cruelty provisions under the Criminal Code and if so, what amendments would the party propose?
The Liberal Party of Canada does support strengthening animal cruelty provisions under the criminal code. All options linking animal cruelty and crime should be examined taking into account the positions of all interested parties. We also believe that the legal treatment of animals, such as practices used in the farming community and fishers should be protected. We maintain that any changes need to balance the humane treatment of animals and the legitimate practices of farmers, hunters, and sport fishers.
Are you willing to bring forward new amendments in the next parliamentary session?
Liberal Members of Parliament have brought forward Private Members Bills on animal cruelty. The Liberal Party remains open to continuing the examination of this issue in consultation with interested stakeholders.
On November 6th, 2009, the House of Commons adopted a motion calling on the Canadian government to support (in principle) the development of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW). This motion was supported by all of Canada’s political parties. Later, in March, the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed the government’s support for development of a UDAW.
Does your party reaffirm its support, in principle, for development of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW)?
The Liberal Party believes that this is, in principle, the responsible thing to do. Once again, we maintain such measures need to balance the humane treatment of animals and the legitimate practices of farmers, hunters, and sport fishers.
What should Canada do to affirm its support for this international initiative?
Canada should be open to working with its international partners on important issues such as the protection of animals. Canada should engage in discussions with stakeholders both at home and abroad, as well as with its international allies, to assess and develop options for such a Declaration.
This past fall, the government announced changes to regulations under Canada’s Health of Animals Act, which would more than double administrative monetary penalties for violating these regulations. This was welcome news and WSPA and our many Canadian animal welfare supporters appreciate these amendments. More substantive amendments to these same regulations have, we understand, been proposed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and await the government’s approval.
WSPA has already put forward a number of recommendations for improving Canada’s farm animal transport system including:
• Establishing maximum loading densities that would allow animals to stand in their natural position or lie down comfortably
• Considerably reducing the number of hours farm animals can be transported without food, water and rest.
• Increasing the number of animal inspectors responsible for enforcing the Health of Animals Regulations at slaughterhouses, auctions and roadside checkpoints and increasing the number of veterinary inspectors present during inspections.
Does your party commit to amending Canada’s animal transport regulations under the Health of Animals Act?
The Liberal Party of Canada supports continued engagement and consultation with stakeholders and interested parties to look into possible amendments to the animal transport regulations.
What amendments to the regulations would your party propose?
The Liberal Party of Canada will work with stakeholders and interested parties to identify amendments to the regulations. Any new amendments should balance the humane transportation of animals with the legitimate practices of the law abiding farming community.
What else would your party do to encourage a more sustainable and humane food system in Canada?
The Liberal Party of Canada believes that the Canadian food system is of vital importance. If elected, a Liberal government will implement Canada’s first comprehensive National Food Policy. Sustainability is a very important aspect of this plan and we are open to extensive consultations incorporating interested stakeholders in developing this much needed policy.
To read more about our National Food Policy, visit: http://cdn2.liberal.ca/files/2010/07/foodpolicy_e.pdf
Is there any other animal welfare issue that you feel needs to be addressed? How would your party make a difference?
The Liberal Party of Canada will work with all interested stakeholders in identifying animal welfare issues that should be addressed.
What other things will your Party do to improve animal protection in Canada?
The Liberal Party of Canada will work with all interested stakeholders in identifying other areas to improve animal protection in Canada.
How do you personally demonstrate a commitment to animal welfare?
I respect the dignity of all living creatures. I am personally committed to animal welfare, and that is why as a party, we will work with stakeholders to identify ways to strengthen animal welfare, while balancing the humane treatment of animals with the legitimate practices of farmers, hunters, and sport fishers.
If animals could vote, what party would they vote for and why?
It is my firm belief that they would vote Liberal! Animals would clearly support the compassionate and responsible option that the Liberal Party of Canada represents.