Consumers are hungry to know more about food, studies indicate, but excessive information on food labels is often ignored.

Communicating the complexity of livestock farming

Farmers do have consumers’ trust on their side

The dairy industry should find simple ways to convey the complex messages of how it deals with animal welfare, food safety and environmental stewardship. If it doesn’t, it runs the risk that consumers will get their information from other sources, including advocacy organizations, which can sometimes question farmer credibility. Why it matters: With international trade […] Read more

OSPCA to step away from livestock inspection and enforcement on March 31

Organization’s decision hastens timing for legislative rewrite for animal cruelty enforcement

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) says it will stop cease enforcing animal cruelty regulations for farm animals as of March 31. That’s shorter than the three months after March 31 that the OSPCA has offered to continue enforce legislation for pets. Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services […] Read more

Stakeholders will have to pay attention to what is practical and what the science says about animal welfare, cleanliness, sanitation, driving practices and species specific vulnerabilities.

Livestock transport code of practice in the works

The code will cover cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and equine for road transportation and should be completed by 2023

New regulations and a code of practice for livestock transportation are coming. The scope of the code of practice covers cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and equine for road transportation, said Jackie Wepruk of the National Farm Animal Care Council. Why it matters: Consumers are becoming more aware and more concerned that sound animal welfare practices […] Read more

University of British Columbia researchers tested the sociability of calves by measuring the proximity they chose between themselves and other animals.

Pessimistic calves at a disadvantage

Researchers have discovered that some calves are more fearful than others, which can have implications for future health

Some cattle are more fearful than others. It’s a universal truth confirmed by anyone who has handled cattle herds. But fearfulness is connected to pessimism, says University of British Columbia PhD student Benjamin Lecorps. His research on 22 Holstein dairy calves has shown that some animals are inherently more pessimistic than others, and that trait […] Read more

Enforcement of animal welfare regulations in Ontario is given to an organization separate from the government.

Ontario government appealing animal welfare enforcement ruling

The ruling gave the government a year to create greater transparency around animal welfare enforcement

The Ontario government is appealing the court ruling that give it a year to sort out a way to make animal welfare enforcement in Ontario more accountable. The Jan. 2, 2019 ruling from Ontario Superior Court Justice Timothy Minnema, said that the powers given to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals […] Read more


An online survey has been created for public input in preparation for a future update to animal welfare legislation.

Researcher seeks input on animal inspection alternatives

A recent court ruling mandated changes to animal inspection in Ontario in a year

A recognized expert in animal cruelty policy would welcome consideration of laws in other jurisdictions if and when Ontario updates its own legislation. But Dr. Kendra Coulter also wants to ensure the public has its say and she has launched an online survey she hopes will facilitate that input. Coulter is chair of Labour Studies […] Read more

A recent survey found that farmers feel increasingly vilified by uninformed public opinion about livestock production and by campaigns organized by animal activist groups.

Animal neglect linked to mental health

Those concerned with the well-being of animals should be concerned about the mental health of those caring for them

Stories about livestock that are found to be confined, neglected, emaciated or dead on a farmer’s property tend to generate big headlines. “I don’t understand how anyone could do that,” is the resulting refrain. Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton has heard that common response. “Frankly, if you can’t understand that, it’s probably a good thing. It means […] Read more

This cow shot on a northwestern Ontario farm isn’t covered by any compensation programs.

Farmer with shot cow finding few areas of compensation

The farmer found little interest in pursuing the animal’s shooters by authorities

A beef farmer from northwestern Ontario is searching for answers after he was forced to euthanize a pregnant 29 month-old cow after it was shot October 10 in an apparent hunting accident. “We’ve got 15 cows and 15 calves on pasture,” said Barwick-area producer Allen Jolicoeur in a recent interview. “My son went down in […] Read more


The province is expected to appeal a court ruling that said the OSPCA powers are unconstitutional.

Province given a year to revamp OSPCA powers

Court ruling says group’s animal welfare enforcement powers needs oversight

The Ontario government has been given a year to revamp legislation governing inspection of complaints and enforcement of orders related to animal welfare, following a ruling on Jan. 2 from Justice Timothy Minnema of the province’s Superior Court. Barring an appeal by the province’s Attorney General, the revamped legislation must create a framework of inspection […] Read more

Who will inspect livestock welfare complaints?

Restructuring at OSPCA casts doubt on future of livestock inspections. Here are some potential outcomes

OSPCA gets $5.75 million annually through the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, specifically for investigation services. This funding supports a call centre for complaints/concerns, officer training, and the operation of the officers in the field. There are about 75 officers across the province. Representatives from Ontario’s livestock commodity groups will meet in early […] Read more