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Tell the Prime Minister to support better animal welfare laws

Sad dog iStock_000011589690Small

Earlier this year, Member of Parliament Nathaniel Erskine-Smith introduced Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act, a private member’s bill aimed at updating Canada’s federal animal cruelty legislation. The bill proposes to amend the Criminal Code to consolidate and modernize various offences against animals.

Canada’s animal cruelty laws have not been significantly updated since 1892. It’s time to modernize these archaic laws and more effectively protect animals from abuse and neglect. If you haven’t already done so, please contact your Member of Parliament to encourage them to support this bill. You can find your MP’s email address here. You can copy the text from the sample letter below into the body of the email if you wish.

You can also email the Prime Minister a message. (Click READ THE PETITION to see the message):

[emailpetition id=”10″]

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Tell City of Saskatoon not to host rodeo championships

Calf roping 05

It has been announced that the City of Saskatoon is to host the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) starting in 2017.  This follows the failure of the CFR to secure an agreement to continue holding the rodeo championship in Edmonton.

The move comes despite the fact that 63 per cent of Canadians and virtually all animal welfare organizations oppose rodeos.  More info here.

Please let the City of Saskatoon know that it is supporting animal cruelty by deciding to host this event.

You can email Saskatoon’s Mayor here.

You can phone the office of the mayor at 306-975-3202.

You can write a letter to the mayor:

Office of the Mayor
City of Saskatoon
222 Third Avenue North

Saskatoon, SK S7K 0J5

Thank you.

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CBS: End the exploitation of wild animals on show “Zoo”

tigerVHS is joining the call for CBS to end the use of wild animals in the filming of its show “Zoo”. The Vancouver-shot series is based on James Patterson’s 2012 novel by the same name and is a thriller about a zoologist’s investigation into a wave of violent animal attacks against humans around the world.

For a series that’s based on the story-line that captive and exploited animals are fighting back against their oppressors, it’s disturbing that CBS itself fails to see the lesson and contributes to such exploitation through their use of wild animals, including bears, wolves and big cats, who have been forced to perform in the series. These animals are denied any semblance of a natural life and are transported around, caged, chained and forced to perform for mere entertainment.

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) has come a long way and has been used in other films to create realistic looking animals without the use and abuse of live ones, a popular example of this being Disney’s “The Jungle Book”.

Please join us in calling on CBS to follow the lead of others in the film industry by ending their use of wild animals and instead utilizing CGI technology in their productions. You can submit your request by visiting CBS’s website and selecting “Zoo” under the category drop-down of the feedback form.

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Animal groups ask A&W to go cage-free




Please sign our petition



VHS and five other animal welfare organizations have signed a joint letter urging A&W Restaurants to stop using eggs from caged hens.

The letter follows news that Tim Hortons and Burger King have committed to going 100 per cent cage-free.  In recent months, a number of major food companies have also announced they will transition to using cage-free eggs.

The joint letter, addressed to A&W CEO Paul Hollands, states: “Enriched cages severely restrict important physical activities including running, flying and wing-flapping and do not permit unrestrained perching and dustbathing.” The letter says consumers have turned against eggs from caged hens and that, “To them and to the wider public, a cage is a cage.” The letter is signed by:

The Vancouver Humane Society
Humane Society International/Canada
Mercy for Animals Canada
Animal Justice
Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Farmed Animals
The CanadianCoalition for Farm Animals

An online petition calling on A&W to go cage-free has gathered more than 6000 signatures.

VHS media release

Media Release

Top Canadian animal groups call on A&W to go cage-free

VANCOUVER, Feb. 2, 2016 /CNW/ – Six leading Canadian animal protection agencies today called on A&W Food Services of Canada to stop using eggs from caged-hens. A joint letter – signed by Animal Justice, the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Farmed Animals, Humane Society International/Canada, Mercy for Animals Canada and the Vancouver Humane Society – urges the fast-food chain to join the growing number of food companies switching to cage-free eggs.

Despite announcements by other restaurant chains, including Tim Hortons and McDonald’s Canada, that they will go cage-free, A&W has committed to using “enriched cages” for laying hens, which are only slightly larger than the notoriously cruel battery cages that have been widely condemned.

The joint letter, addressed to A&W CEO Paul Hollands, states: “Enriched cages severely restrict important physical activities including running, flying and wing-flapping and do not permit unrestrained perching and dustbathing.” The letter says consumers have turned against eggs from caged hens and that, “To them and to the wider public, a cage is a cage.”

An online petition calling on A&W to go cage-free has gathered more than 6000 signatures.

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Tell A&W to go cage-free!

Hens in “enriched” cages.


Sign our petition asking A&W Restaurants to stop using eggs from caged hens

Update: More actions you can take 


Canadians are familiar with A&W Restaurants’ TV commercials boasting about the company’s vegetarian feed for chickens, but does the company actually care about chickens?  When you realize that A&W uses eggs from hens kept in battery cages and in so-called “enriched cages”, it appears the answer is clearly not very much.

What’s worse, the company appears to have no intention of moving to cage-free eggs, as many food companies are now doing.  We’re calling on A&W to follow the lead of companies like McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks, Nestle, General Mills and others, who have announced they are switching to cage-free eggs.

On its website, A&W says that “all of our hens will live in enriched housing by the end of 2016.” However, scientific evidence shows that, in welfare terms, a cage is still a cage, enriched or not, and that the birds will continue to suffer. The space and facilities provided in enriched cages are so inadequate that they deprive the birds of the ability to engage in natural behaviours, leading to frustration, suffering and body degeneration.

VHS’s ChickenOUT! campaign has helped educate consumers about the animal welfare problems created by keeping hens in cages – B.C. has the highest cage-free egg production of any province (17% compared to a national average of 3%).  (Our message has always been:  If you eat eggs please buy certified organic eggs, as they are guaranteed cage-free and have the highest welfare standards. Going egg free is the best option – it’s cruelty-free and alternatives to eggs in baking are widely available.)

Consumers need to let A&W know that enriched cages are still cages.

Sign our petition calling on A&W to do the right thing and switch to cage-free egg suppliers.

Latest: See our article in the Huffington Post!

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Please support the bill to end cetacean captivity



Senator Wilfred Moore is urging Canadians to sign a petition supporting a bill he introduced in the Senate to end the captivity of whales and dolphins in Canada.

The Senator will present all the petitions together with his Bill to “End The Captivity Of Whales And Dolphins In Canada” to the Senate on January 25th. The bill would end the live capture, breeding, and acquisition of cetaceans in Canada.

Unfortunately, the Senate does not accept any reproductions, so the
petition has to be hand-signed and mailed. No internet petitions accepted.

Please download the petition here.  It can be printed off and circulated to friends, family and colleagues for signatures.  It must then be mailed to the address at the bottom of the petition form by January 14, 2016.

Thank you.

More information on the bill.

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Take action for chickens!

Mother hen with its baby chicken

Our friends at the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals (CCFA) are running a great campaign to help chickens in Canada – and they need your help.

CCFA has launched a new website about chicken farming, transport and slaughter.  It includes an important take action page that enables compassionate Canadians to contact chicken farmers and grocers to raise concerns about the deplorable conditions and treatment that chickens in Canada endure. It’s a quick and easy way to make a difference in the lives of chickens, often described as the most abused animals on the planet.

Both egg-laying hens and chickens raised for meat suffer on factory farms.  VHS recently called attention to the suffering of meat chickens in op-eds in the Vancouver Sun and the Toronto Star.

We support any action that will alleviate the suffering of farmed animals. Through our ChickenOUT! project, we urge consumers who buy eggs to ensure they are certified organic, which are cage-free and have the highest welfare standards.  Better still, consumers can reduce or eliminate egg consumption by taking advantage of egg replacement products.  VHS also encourages switching to a plant-based diet. Reducing or eliminating meat consumption reduces the need for cruel factory farming. Our Meatless Monday initiative is a great way to start.

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Tell Canadian Tire to stop using cruel glue traps


Mouse in glue trap

Please sign our petition

VHS recently contacted Canadian Tire to ask the company to stop selling glue traps for rodents. We explained that many of our supporters have emailed and called us to express their concerns about this product after seeing them on Canadian Tire store shelves.

Glue traps cause extreme animal suffering because they trap mice or rats in a sticky substance from which they can’t escape. The result is that they die a long, slow, horrifying death of starvation, dehydration and exhaustion. One distraught caller related listening to a mouse scream as he tried to escape the glue.

The reply we received from Canadian Tire states: “As the leading seller of indoor pest control products, customers expect to find a complete selection of pest control alternatives at our stores. To this end we offer a complete selection of pest control products for our customers to choose from.” In other words, cruel glue traps will continue to be included in Canadian Tire’s “selection of pest control products.” That’s just not good enough.

We’ve launched an online petition to give people an opportunity to ask Canadian Tire to stop selling glue traps. New Zealand and the state of Victoria in Australia have banned the sale and use of glue traps due to concerns about cruelty. They just aren’t necessary. The BC SPCA and the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies are also opposed to glue traps. 

The best way to deal with rodent infestations is to alter the habitat so it’s no longer attractive to them. This means carefully closing off every possible entry point (after you’ve safely removed the animals) so it’s inaccessible. A VHS staff member had to deal with mice in a small cottage. She waited until night when the mice were outside and used fine wire mesh to seal every hole in the crawl space and the entire house. She then installed an inexpensive sonic repeller on each level and hasn’t had mice inside since. These electronic devices are available in hardware stores everywhere.

Mice and rats are social, intelligent creatures and every bit as capable of experiencing pain as the dogs and cats we have in our homes. Excluding wildlife is the kindest way to live alongside them. But as an absolute last resort, a snap-trap is less inhumane than a glue trap or poison (which also causes an excruciatingly painful death). Snap-traps kill instantly. If you use them, you should always identify the species prior to undertaking any control. Mice and rats will require different sizes of trap to be effective, and identifying the species will help guide the appropriate trap to use.

Sign our petition here to let Canadian Tire know what you think.

Media Release

VHS says public must urge halt to chuckwagonrace

Fourth horse dies at Calgary Stampede

VANCOUVER, July 13, 2015 /CNW/ – The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is calling on the Canadian public to express its outrage at the death of four horses in the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races, following the death of yet another horse in the event on Sunday.

“The Stampede has made endless excuses about the continued loss of chuckwagon horses and has failed to stop these deaths,” said VHS spokesperson Peter Fricker.

“The race is fundamentally unsafe and horses just keep dying,” said Fricker. “People need to let the Stampede know that this is unacceptable.”

VHS has repeatedly called on the Stampede to suspend the race and establish an independent panel of experts to determine if anything can be done to make the race safer.

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 people have signed a VHS online petition calling for CBC Sports to stop television coverage of the Calgary Stampede rodeo:

SOURCE Vancouver Humane Society