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Animal welfare trends to watch for in 2018

January 23, 2018

British Columbians are more passionate than ever about improving animal welfare. What changes do you hope to see for wild animals this year? Keep an eye on these emerging issues in 2018:

Wildlife selfies

It might seem exciting to snap a photo with wild or exotic animals while travelling, but this causes a lot of harm to animals.

Exotic birds, monkeys or reptiles are often poached from the wild. Many large carnivores like tigers and bears are drugged for easy photo opportunities, and elephants are beaten during cruel training for rides.

Wildlife selfies and other photos are so harmful, that Instagram now alerts users when they are taking a photo that might be harmful to animals. The best thing you can do is not take part – don’t take photos with wild animals.

Read more about responsible wildlife tourism.

Trophy hunting 

Photo credit: Stephen Lustig

In December, the Province of B.C. announced the end of the hunting of grizzly bears throughout British Columbia, a move applauded by the BC SPCA. This is a big win for bears, but animals all over the world are still hunted and killed as trophies.

Elephants, rhinos , lions and many other animals are illegally poached. Sometimes, licenses to hunt these animals are sold to foreign hunters under the guise of conservation.

Last year saw severe backlash for celebrities and public figures that engaged in trophy hunting, and we expect the pressure to be even higher in 2018.

Cruelty-free cosmetics

The majority of Canadians support making testing cosmetics (or their ingredients) on animals illegal in Canada. Bill-S214, the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, is now waiting to have ‘third reading’ and all senators will vote to decide if it moves forward.

You can make change now by choosing only cosmetics that do not test their products or ingredients on animals.

Cetaceans in captivity

Concern for captive cetaceans continues to grow among the public and scientific community. In response to changing public opinion, the Vancouver Aquarium announced on January 18, 2018 that it would voluntarily adopt a ban against cetaceans in captivity.

A draft law, Bill S-203, is currently making its way through the Canadian Senate and could end the capture and captivity of cetaceans for entertainment in Canada.

The BC SPCA recognizes that animals currently in captivity are not releasable. We support creating sanctuaries for whales and dolphins to provide the large and diverse habitats they need.

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