Livestock Rabies Vaccination Requirements
As of July 1, 2018, all livestock “for which a rabies vaccine licenced for use in Canada is available” shall be immunized against rabies with the exception being made for only livestock “that is accessible only to the person or persons who are responsible for the care and control of such animal”. To clarify the livestock rabies vaccination requirements for livestock producers, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided responses to questions submitted by OFA in the attached expanded Q&A document. Reasonable measures restricting the general public’s access to livestock at events such as farm tours, fall fairs, auctions, etc. can be implemented such that the exemption from the livestock vaccination requirement would apply. OFA has requested the government postpone the July 1st effective date to allow for time to amend the wording of Ontario Regulation 567.
Animal Cruelty Amendments
OFA categorically opposed the proposed Criminal Code (Canada) amendments in Bill C-246. OFA viewed the focus and direction of C-246 as a threat to animal agriculture and legitimate animal use activities. OFA’s key objections included the moving the Code’s animal cruelty provisions out of Part XI to a new part, Part V.1 and the loss of established case law and precedent. Farmers and farm organizations endorse the humane treatment of all animals.
Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Act
Farmers and farm organizations endorse the humane treatment of all animals; livestock, poultry, domestic pets or wildlife. Farmers who raise livestock or poultry treat them with care and consideration – it is their livelihood and in their best interests to do so. They also genuinely care about the well-being of their animals. They treat them with the utmost care and consideration.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (OSPCA Act) grants specific exceptions to the offences of causing or permitting distress and to complying with the Standards of Care for activities carried on in accordance with “reasonable and generally accepted practices of agricultural animal care, management or husbandry”. The various nationally-developed Codes of Practice for farm animals provide this reference standard. Currently there are 13 codes for specific farm animal types, plus one addressing transport.
OFA continues to closely watch the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and its relationship to the care of farm animals.