Farm animals are transported every day on Canadian highways, and virtually all are transported at least once during their lifetime. Animals are subject to freezing, dehydration, heat, trampling and disease in outdated vehicles.
More than 770 million animals are transported annually in Canada.
Canada’s 43-year-old animal-transport regulations allow ruminants – cattle, sheep and goats – to be transported 52 hours without water, food or rest, plus an additional pre-travel 5-hour food withdrawal. Horses, poultry and pigs may be transported 36 hours without water, food or rest, plus a 5-hour feed withdrawal prior to travel. These transport times are the longest in the developed world, and take place in outdated vehicles. Fragile “spent” laying hens and cull dairy cows are especially prone to suffering.
Transported animals suffer Canada’s bitterly cold winters and sizzling summers in trailers without cooling, ventilation, on-board water, or elevators to assist animals with steep inclines. Pigs are vulnerable to extreme temperatures since they're unable to sweat in the heat and have no coat to protect them in the winter. Chickens, particularly spent hens, are often missing feathers, leaving them susceptible to the cold. The European Union requires vehicle amenities for journeys longer than 8 hours.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the federal agency responsible for animal transport, provides infrequent highway inspections and enforcement of transport regulations. Combined with long journeys without water, food or rest, the outcome is too often animal suffering and death.
Read Canada’s current animal transport regulations: Part XII, Regulations under The Health of Animals Act, Sections 136 - 161.