Citizens of Quebec are calling upon the government to impose stricter farm animal welfare regulations.
Led by animal rights organization Montreal SPCA, residents are writing to governmental candidates ahead of the election in October, asking them to improve the living conditions of farm animals across the region.
The organization has also launched a poster campaign targetting the four major parties in the election, aiming to educate the citizens of Montreal about farm animal welfare. The posters will go up in and around the city and feature the words “Animal Wrongs” alongside realistic images of how farm animals are kept in cramped conditions.
“The vast majority of animals raised for food have virtually no legal protection. There was a law passed in 2015, and we also recognized animals as sentient beings in our Quebec Civil Code,” Sophie Galliard, Montreal SPCA’s Director of Animal Welfare, told Global News. “However, that does not help in any way farm animals that continue to be treated like mere commodities.”
She continued, “We’re encouraging the general public to support our ask and put pressure on the new government. Ask them to commit to putting something in place so that at least a minimal level of welfare is guaranteed for farm animals in Quebec.”
The campaign comes off the back of a survey commissioned by Montreal SPCA last July. The organization found that 70 percent of Quebec residents believe that animal welfare matters are important enough to be considered in the electoral campaign.
Across Canada, animal welfare has moved higher up on the agenda. In early July, reports revealed that new regulations to protect marine mammals are now being enforced on the country’s coastlines after 10 years of campaigning by local organizations. Feeding dolphins, whales, and porpoises is now prohibited, and boats must remain a certain distance away from the animals depending on the stretch of water they are in.
“Our federal government just dragged its feet for a very long time,” said Christianne Wilhelmson, the executive director of the Georgia Strait Alliance. “They just didn’t want to impose restrictions on any industry and finally they have because now we’re desperately in need of regulations to protect the orcas.”
To write to the political parties of Quebec and ask them to introduce farm animal protection legislation, or to learn more about Montreal SPCA’s campaign, see here.