Celebrating a year of animal advocacy victories - BC SPCA
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Celebrating a year of animal advocacy victories

January 25, 2022

Thank you

Creating change for domestic, farm and wild animals can be a slow process, but together, we can give animals a voice.

Your continued support and desire to take action is essential – it shows policymakers that you care for animals, and are committed to protecting and enhancing their quality of life.

In 2021, you took action on 10 campaigns to speak up for animals:

  • Fur farming
  • Mink farming
  • Live horse export
  • The use of rodenticides
  • The exotic wildlife trade
  • Wildlife poisoning
  • Wolf culls
  • Fireworks
  • Mink Code of Practice
  • Goat Code of Practice

Together, you took over 74,000 actions through our campaigns to speak up for animals – whether that be through petition signatures, comment submissions, survey responses, or emails and calls to government officials.

In addition, 20 policy submissions supported by science were submitted to policymakers, including government officials and organizations that set animal care standards.

Take this time to reflect on your hard work this past year, and celebrate the differences you have made for tens of thousands of animals across British Columbia, and Canada.

2021 wins

For the first time, animal welfare and animal protection were included in the platforms of our major political parties during Canada’s 2021 election of its 44th Parliament.

Farm animals

  • After actively campaigning with your support over the past two years, in collaboration with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and other groups, on November 5, 2021, the provincial government announced a phase-out of the mink farming industry in B.C.
  • A record-setting number of concerned citizens spoke up against the shipping of Canadian horses overseas for slaughter. More than 77,000 Canadians voiced their concerns, making this the most-signed federal e-petition relating to animals in history!
    The petition was presented to the House of Commons, but the government was unable to table a response before Parliament was dissolved. However, after the election, banning live horse export was included in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to the Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries, meaning we should see progress on this ban in 2022. We will keep a close eye on this issue.


Companion animals

  • The City of Fernie adopted a new Animal Responsibility Bylaw, which removed breed-specific legislation, and includes more provisions for animal welfare.
  • The City of Nanaimo updated its Animal Responsibility Bylaw with various measures to better protect cat welfare, including:
      • Requiring all cats older than six months to be spayed or neutered (unless guardian has breeding license)
      • Restricting free-roaming cats for their care and protection

This will help reduce the number and suffering of outdoor and stray cats.

  • In consultation with the BC SPCA, a number of First Nations improved or created their own animal wellness laws.

Wild animals

  • Anticoagulant rodenticides are commonly used poisons in rodent control. Not only are rodenticides an inhumane death for rodents, but other wild animals are poisoned if they consume poison bait directly, or when they eat poisoned prey.

Thanks to thousands of supporters who emailed their councils, 20 municipalities committed to prohibiting anticoagulant rodenticide use on all municipally-owned properties within their jurisdiction since 2020, joining several other municipalities who had already taken a stand. Check if your municipality is on the list.

The provincial government announced a temporary ban on the sale and use of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides on July 21, 2021. The 18-month period will allow government staff to research and review alternatives, and we will continue to consult on a permanent ban.

  • Vancouver Park Board approved a new bylaw prohibiting people from feeding wildlife. The BC SPCA is also working with the City of Vancouver on a new wildlife feeding bylaw to cover all other areas of the city.

In progress

  • Federal e-petition to end the international and domestic trade of exotic and wild animals received support from 13,612 Canadians, 58% of which were British Columbians. Ending the illegal wildlife trade was raised in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to Minister of Environment and Climate Change, but much more is needed to stem future pandemics.
  • Federal e-petition to end wildlife poisoning received support from 8,929 Canadians, 69% of which were British Columbians. Strychnine, Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide are poisons used in Canada to control large predators (wolves, coyotes, and bears) – an inhumane method of killing that can also kill other non-target animals.

As of December 31, 2021, the use of sodium cyanide is no longer permitted because this product has been cancelled by the manufacturer. The use of strychnine and Compound 1080 is still awaiting re-evaluation and final decision from Health Canada.

  • In fall 2021, the province sought feedback on a five-year approval for continued wolf killing in an attempt to support the recovery of woodland caribou. The BC SPCA opposes indiscriminate wolf culls as they are inhumane and lack scientific justification as a long-term wildlife management solution to declining caribou populations. The summary from the government’s predator reduction survey will be posted on the BC Caribou Recovery Program website and we will be keeping a watchful eye out for it.

2022 plans

We will continue to work to widen our reach, collaborations and impact in order to prevent animal cruelty, suffering and neglect. We aim to:

  • Reach more British Columbians to increase the power of our shared voice
  • Build stronger relationships with government and industry to better represent animals’ needs
  • Collaborate with organizations who also have the end goal of eliminating animal suffering
  • Listen and improve as new scientific information becomes available

We will continue our fight to end consumer fireworks, advocate for an improved Dairy Code of Practice, end fur farming for all species, be a voice for emergency response preparedness for all animals and much more this year.

Take action

As a B.C. citizen, you have a MLA and a MP whose job is to serve you and your neighbours, and make sure your values are heard. Contact them to share your concerns, or to thank them for positive changes made.

Find my MLA

Find my MP

Visit our Take Action page for more information on how you can help animals.

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