It’s a new year, and while many British Columbians resolve to break bad habits or start new, healthier routines, there are also resolutions that animal lovers can make to help companion, farm and wild animals.
Farm animals: Did you know that about 93 per cent of egg-laying chickens in Canada spend their entire lives in a barren battery cage, with less living space than a standard sheet of paper?
“Compared to the United Kingdom and Australia, where that number is 50 per cent, Canada is lagging far behind other countries when it comes to farm animal welfare standards,” says Brandy Street, SPCA Certified manager.
How you can help: Resolve to buy only higher welfare cage-free eggs. With this simple step, you can help save more than 25 million hens from a lifetime of suffering.
Companion animals: Did you know that roughly 70 per cent of exotic animals such as snakes, lizards, tortoises and turtles die in wholesaler warehouses before they are even sold to pet stores? Then, purchased from a pet store, they face high rates of premature mortality once again – experts have suggested that more than 75 per cent of exotic pets die within a year in a home. It is thought that most of these newly-purchased animals, whose longevity ranges from eight to 120 years in the wild, according to species, die from captivity stress-related causes.
“Exotic animals are wild animals taken from their natural habitat in foreign countries or bred in captivity, and although they might be sold as companion animals, they can never be given the Five Freedoms to thrive in human care,” says Dr. Sara Dubois, BC SPCA chief scientific officer.
“While domestic animals have been bred over thousands of generations to thrive as companions to humans, the same is not true for exotic and wild animals.”
How you can help: Resolve to support stores that only sell pet supplies, rather than live animals.
Wild animals: Did you realize that the faux fur on your jacket can actually be real fur from a fox, coyote or even a dog or cat? Thanks to poor welfare laws and non-existent fur labeling regulations in Canada, animals are being farmed and trapped just for a fashion statement.
How you can help: Resolve to make your style kind, not cruel. Never buy any clothing or accessories with real or faux fur.
Many British Columbians likely don’t realize the extent to which companion, farm and wild animals suffer, often solely for human consumption or perceived ‘needs’, such as fashion trends or an eye-catching pet. Resolve to choose a more humane, animal-friendly lifestyle in 2017!