CFHS Statement on livestock transportation in Canada


October 11, 2014 (Ottawa, ON) On Saturday night graphic and disturbing images of animals being transported in Canada were aired on CTV W5. The CFHS finds these images to be profoundly difficult to watch. Throughout Canada each year, more than 650 million farm animals are transported from farms to auction and slaughter. Between two and three million of them, mostly chickens, are found dead on arrival. Many more arrive sick or injured following their long, grueling journeys.

Canada’s current animal transport regulations are decades old and inadequate by modern standards. They allow cattle and sheep to be transported for up to 52 hours continuously with no food, water or rest. Pigs, horses and birds can be transported for up to 36 hours. And there is no requirement for animal transporters to have any training on how to handle animals humanely or to drive safely with them on board.

In comparison, in the European Union, most species are not permitted to be transported for longer than 8 hours, unless transporters meet several conditions that preserve animal welfare on longer trips. Regulations that set out maximum loading densities to prevent overcrowding are strictly enforced.

The Canadian government says it has been working on changes to its regulations for years now, but the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has yet to release them even after years of unanswered requests.

The CFHS advocates for only those farming practices that provide good welfare for the animals raised. The CFHS strongly encourages farmers to strive to meet the 5 Freedoms by employing management practices and housing systems that meet both the physiological and psychological needs of the animals.

Contact: Kim Elmslie, Communications and Advocacy Manager, 613-224-8072 ex. 12,

Media Release: CFHS Statement on livestock transportation in Canada
CFHS Statement on livestock transportation in Canada
Humane Canada (also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) is Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies, representing the largest animal welfare community in Canada.