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                      News in a Flash

May-June 2014

New Code Calls for More Humane Sow Housing

The final Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs was released early March and calls for a phase out of sow stalls by 2024. Unfortunately, the new code permits sows to be crated for up to 35 after being impregnated.


Nonetheless, this phase out is good news for sows as they will spend the majority of their pregnancy in group pens with room to move around and mix with other sows. The Code states that existing stalls must be gone by 2024 but any new barns built after July of this year cannot contain gestation crates. The code also mandates that piglets receive pain medication for tail docking and castration procedures after 2016 and the pigs be given some form of enrichment. 

For more information about the pig Code of Practice, visit the NFACC website here:
http://www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/pigs

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Too Many Animal Lives Lost in Barn Fires

Fires in barns are a regular occurrence in Canada, with thousands of farm animals dying horrible deaths every year from smoke inhalation and flames.  Animals in crates and cages have no hope of rescue when fire breaks out.

About 3500 young pigs, aged three - ten weeks, died in a barn fire on March 31 near Lanigan, Saskatchewan.  Volunteer fire fighters fought the blaze, but couldn’t get inside the building due to smoke and fire.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
 
The complex is owned by food processing giant Olymel, and is operated under the name OlySky.  The site was acquired by Olymel in 2013 from Big Sky Farms. OlySky reports it has 41,000 sows producing more than one million piglets in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
 
Another fire on March 4th, northeast of Auburn, Manitoba, killed 1300 pigs.  More than 20,000  thousand chickens died in a fire on February 12 in Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario.
 
These too-frequent and devastating fires beg the question of whether economics have a role – whether insurance pay-outs are the motive.
 
Ironically, journalists sometimes report, “no one was hurt,” when thousands of animals have died in horrific barn fires.
 
What is needed: automatic fire detection systems and sprinkler systems, but these standards are not required in national or provincial farm building codes.  When fire breaks out, there is no way to stop the spread of the blaze.
 
To learn more about barn fires, see Reducing the risk of fire on your farm, Publication 837,
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/barnfire/toc.pd
 
What you can do: Write or call the Fire Commissioner of Saskatchewan, and ask that sprinklers and automatic fire detection systems in farm buildings be made mandatory.
Office of the Fire Commissioner
310 - 1855 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK  S4P 3T2
Phone: 306-787-3774, Fax: 306-787-7107    

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Member Organization Profile:
Action Volunteers for Animals 

AVA is an all-volunteer organization working on behalf of animals in the Greater Toronto Area. AVA's compassionate volunteer force promotes animal rights and does a lot of hands-on work predominantly with cats, as well as dogs, rabbits and small pets.
 
The group got its start in 1972 as a response from a handful of caring people who stepped up to help shelter animals during a strike.  AVA works to find foster or permanent homes for homeless animals, vaccinating and sterilizing, providing vet attention for homeless animals who are sick or injured, humane feral cat trapping, and maintaining feral cat colonies.
 
AVA is a registered charity, and relies on donations, as well as volunteers, to continue to save animals. Membership with AVA is $25, all of which is tax deductible, and includes a quarterly newsletter, invites to special events, and more. To contact AVA or learn more about what they do, please visit their website at http://www.actionvolunteersforanimals.com/
 

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Norman & Ashli

Norman and Ashli have just arrived at Wishing Well Sanctuary, in Bradford, Ontario. They were discarded as “leftovers” at an auction when they were 2 days old and rescued by Susan Morris, who hand-raised them round-the-clock as newborns. They have grown to be gentle giants, strong and beautiful, each with his own traits and personallity.
 
Brenda Bronfman, owner and founder of Wishing Well says Norman loves to lick his caregivers' faces and stretches out his head to receive all the chin scratches people are willing to give!

Although Ashli is a little more reserved, he loves his cheeks being rubbed and keeps a close eye on his brother all the time. They have transitioned well into their new home at Wishing Well, and have 14 other cow friends to share their space with, not to mention several sheep and a lama in an adjacent pasture. How wonderful that they were rescued and that they are living such a wonderful life at Wishing Well!



Please visit Wishing Well Sanctuary's website at www.wishingwellsanctuary.org for information on how to book a tour to meet Norman and Ashli.

FEATURE RECIPE

Green Warrior
Protein Smoothie

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup red grapefruit juice
• 1 cup  kale
• 1 large apple chopped
• 1 cup chopped cucumber
• 1/2 cup chopped celery 
• 3-4 tablespoons hemp hearts 
• 1/4 cup frozen mango
• 1/8 cup fresh mint leaves
• 3-4 ice cubes



Directions:
Juice half of a large red grapefruit and add  juice to the blender.

Now add the kale, apple, cucumber, celery, hulled hemp seeds, mango, mint, and ice. Blend on high until  smooth.  You can add a bit of water if necessary to get it blending.

Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately! This makes enough for a large glass with some leftover so you can also divide it into two servings.




Check out the
CCFA's new website: www.helpthechickens.ca


Be sure to check back regularly as we will soon be updating the site with more "take action" items, highlighting ways you can speak up for chickens!

CLICK HERE to read the CCFA - Animal Alliance of Canada report on Maple Lodge Farms: Economics over animal welfare:  production, transport and slaughter of chickens in Canada
 

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