VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canada gets a failing grade when it comes to animal protection laws, according to a report from World Animal Protection.
The charity assessed the animal welfare policies and legislation of 50 countries and identified a continued lack of adequate laws in its second edition of the Animal Protection Index.
Each country was given a rank from ‘A’ to ‘G,’ the former being the highest score a nation could get to the latter being the weakest.
Canada received a ‘D,’ alongside other countries including Tanzania, Peru, Australia and the United States.
The reason for Canada’s low grade is mainly because of its inadequate legislation to protect wildlife in captivity, as well as working, farm, research, and companion animals.
“Farm animals are still raised in intensive systems, kept in barren, cramped conditions with little room to move and sometimes subjected to painful procedures such as having their teeth clipped, without pain relief,” according to the report.
World Animal Protection said there have been some policy improvements, however, it noted the requirements, such as phasing out battery cages for egg-laying hens, aren’t legally mandated.
“Farm animal care in Canada is guided by the National Farm Animal Care Council’s codes of practice, meaning the agricultural industry is entrusted to police itself,” the organization added.
The report also penalized Canada for not having an entity responsible for animal welfare policies or tracking progress in this sector.
“We would like to see Canada pass animal welfare legislation that finally recognizes animals are sentient beings that can suffer physically, mentally and emotionally,” World Animal Protection Canada Campaign Director Melissa Matlow said. “The federal government should play a more active role, working with provinces and territories to ensure consistent protection for all animals across the country.”
Elsewhere around the world, concerns flagged by the organization centre around animal welfare, and have to do with things like intensive farming, markets, and trade.
“…All of which are proven threats of disease outbreak, such as the most recent global epidemic, the coronavirus (COVID- 19),” the report reads.
Sweden and the United Kingdom received the highest scores, but not one country was given an ‘A.’