Five freedoms for animals urged
(This is a letter that was written by the Winnipeg Humane Society)
In mid-March a group of animal welfare organizations met in Winnipeg to discuss agricultural confinement systems. The organizations that gathered included the Humane Society of the United States, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the British Columbia SPCA and the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, Humane Society International, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals, Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Farm Animals and The Winnipeg Humane Society.
The decision to hold this meeting in Winnipeg was based upon the fact that many organizations, and, as well, many thousands of Canadian citizens are concerned about the welfare and ongoing treatment of farm animals. The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) has promoted the end of confinement systems for pigs for many, many years so it was a natural decision for us to invite these other organizations to come to Winnipeg to discuss the important passage of Proposition 2 in California. Proposition 2 was passed in the election that took place last November in the United States. It passed with an overwhelming margin of 64 per cent of the votes cast and prohibits the use of confinement cages in the state of California for pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves.
The animal welfare organizations that gathered in Winnipeg this past weekend are not out to change the world so that everyone becomes a vegan. We simply want to work with the farmers, the commodity buyers and the sellers and the government to ensure that all of the animals in the food supply chain are treated with what we in the animal welfare world call THE FIVE FREEDOMS. This is only fair; every animal that is consumed should have these simple freedoms. During its life any animal, be it a domestic dog or cat, or a farm animal, should have the freedom to have food and drink, freedom from illness and disease, freedom from distress, freedom from discomfort and most importantly the freedom to behave in a natural manner. A pig in a crate that can only move two steps forward and two steps back is not, in any definition, behaving in a natural manner. Read More
The five freedoms that HSUS and The Winnipeg Humane Society will be pushing will really boil down to the freedom to behave naturally. You will note that they are demanding this for domestic pets as well. If they are going to force livestock to behave naturally, they need to be prepared for what that means. It means more injured and sick animals, decreased comfort and a shorter life span. For pets, I would assume that spaying and neutering wouldn’t allow a dog or cat to behave as they would in nature, so that would have to be banned. And just as they push to have our livestock raised solely outdoor, I would imagine that it’s not very natural for a dog or cat to live in a house. For the pet owners that are supporting HSUS, is this what you are hoping to accomplish by donating your money to them?