Dairy and Egg Industry Disguising Advertising as Nutrition Education and Local Activists Expose Pig Transport Cruelty

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Activist Kira Blaise on her Video of Pigs En Route to Slaughter

Pigs in distress on a transport truck in Kamloops.

Earlier this week, on a sweltering 32 degree day, animal rights activists Kira Blaise and Roy Sasano were road-tripping through Kamloops BC, excited to try out the new A&W Beyond Burger when they spotted a large transport truck with Albertan license plates carrying pigs to slaughter and decided to follow and see where it was headed. It turns out the truck’s destination was Langley and it is not yet known where in Alberta the pigs were loaded. Just take a moment to imagine that long hot journey as a pig, sliding around on the truck bed covered in feces and urine as the vehicle twists, turns and brakes for stops.

The multi-level vehicle carrying approximately 200-250 pigs eventually pulled to the side of the road and as the driver had a cigarette, Kira and Roy seized the opportunity to obtain some video footage through the truck’s ventilation holes through which they saw pigs frothing at the mouths, panting, distressed and extremely over-crowded with one pig’s hoof on the eye of a pig who lay on the floor and others unable to place all four feet on the ground (see photo above). They had no food or water, and by Canadian legal standards, could have been on a 36 hour journey with no rest, fluids or food to eat. Many people are surprised to learn that Canada has some of the weakest animal protection laws in the developed world. By contrast, in Europe animals cannot be in transport for more than 8 hours without food, rest or water.

Sadly, these activists could not interfere with the fate of the pigs, but thankfully they were well-educated on how to properly document evidence and take appropriate legal action to report the over-crowded conditions they witnessed. This is not an isolated incident; activists around the world are shining a light on the animal use industries by means of the Save Movement, where activists bear witness to the final moments of what can only be called a living nightmare for animals as they enter the slaughterhouses. In Langley last year, 46 pigs arrived dead at Britco Pork, many displaying necrotic hues of green and purple as they lay next to live pigs about to be slaughtered for food.

Although violations aren’t always reported and therefore laws are rarely enforced, all animals being transported are covered by the Health of Animals Act and Regulations. Among other things, these laws prohibit:

  • transporting ill or injured animals
  • transporting animals if it is probable that they will give birth during the journey
  • loading or unloading animals in a way that is likely to cause injury or undue suffering
  • crowding animals in a way that is likely to cause injury or undue suffering
  • transporting incompatible species
  • transporting animals unable to stand in a natural position
  • undue exposure to weather
  • inadequate ventilation

Click here for tips on documenting and reporting animal cruelty, and here for reporting false advertising about animal welfare.

Watch the video that Kira and Roy took of the suffering pigs:

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Animal Rights Lawyer, Anna Pippus on Deceptive and Inappropriate Advertising Practices by the Dairy and Egg Industry

I can recall the heavy influence of the dairy industry at my elementary school events, and of course at that time I didn’t question why only one industry was marketing to us in our school, but the fact that it was offered by our educational system sent a message that it MUST be a necessary part of our diet…how kind of the dairy companies to be so generous and concerned about our health! Although it was a strange choice of (thick, unrefreshing, mucous-laden) beverage to consume after running around at sporting events. Back then milk was almost stressed as more important than water, not only by the dairy industry but our parents as well. Anything that was on the food pyramid must have been necessary for us, right?

I am surprised that in this day and age, the dairy industry still has the ability to waltz their product into elementary schools (free advertising!) or bring their portable cow-milking “education” station to the schools – yes, an actual cow is transported around and exploited. And it isn’t just kids who are being heavily marketed to inappropriately. I have seen piles of brochures advertising dairy and eggs in my doctor’s office and on public transit advertisements for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Osteoporosis Canada and Colorectal Cancer Association sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. Director of farmed Animal Advocacy for Animal Justice, Anna Pippus joins us for a discussion on the legalities of these advertisements disguised as public health education, as well as what we can do about false or inappropriate advertising. Click here to see Animal Justice’s action taken on this issue.

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