Transport can be a very stressful time for animals. Laws about the transport of animals are made and enforced by the federal government. These laws are weak and do not account for what we know about animal suffering during transport. With over 700 million animals transported each year, the investigation into cases of animal suffering is inadequate.
What causes pain and suffering during transport?
Transport can lead to pain and suffering for animals by means of:
- Rough handling resulting from untrained people trying to speed up the loading process
- Too many animals loaded onto the vehicle, resulting in further injuries and sometimes even suffocation
- Transport in adverse weather conditions, with no temperature control in the transport vehicle – sometimes animals’ bodies freeze or overheat to the point of death
- Long periods of time with no food, water or rest – some animals are transported for so long that they become dehydrated and weak
Updating Canada’s transportation regulations
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently held a consultation period requesting public input on Canada’s laws for transporting animals, and the BC SPCA participated in the consultation. The CFIA then developed and released a ‘What We Heard’ report based on the feedback received during the consultation period. Read the report.
The regulations are now being revised by the CFIA, and the BC SPCA is hopeful that the following feedback will be incorporated:
- More specific requirements for the number of animals permitted in the transport vehicle compared to the space available (loading density)
- Shortened periods between access to food, water and rest – in other words, animals in transit will have the opportunity to rest, eat and drink more often
- Restrictions on maximum and minimum temperatures allowed within transport vehicles
Get involved in improving how animals are transported
Here are two suggestions for how you can get involved in making sure animals in transit do not suffer unnecessarily:
- Ask Canada’s Agriculture Minister to provide more enforcement for the practices outlined in the ‘Transportation of Animals’ section of the ‘Health of Animals Regulations’. Send a message to the Agriculture Minister now.
- Subscribe to our action alerts and get an email when we need your urgent help to ask the federal government for improved laws.