For standing and lying behaviour, activity monitors were attached to calves for seven days after pain treatment application.

Local anesthetic and pain control show greatest calf comfort

University of Guelph study looked at reducing animal stress

A University of Guelph study has found that using a combined local anesthetic and pain reliever when dehorning young calves will reduce the animals’ stress. The study involved use of caustic paste for dehorning, a method that is becoming more common for disbudding dairy calves. However, there is little available research into controlling the animals’ […] Read more

The Ontario government is working on new animal welfare legislation approaches.

Consultation begins on legislation replacing OSPCA Act

Agriculture groups presented a position paper that examined approaches in other jurisdictions

Consultation has begun on the creation of new Ontario legislation governing animal welfare. Government officials recently met in Guelph with representatives from agricultural commodity groups, horse industry sectors, and veterinarians. Why it matters: Trusted and accountable animal welfare enforcement will be important to the future trust of the public in animal agriculture. The new act […] Read more

The need for shorter time on a truck could mean the need for more rest stop facilities.

Amended transportation regulations premature: beef industry

The number of hours an animal can be on a truck will drop by 25 per cent to 36 hours without rest, feed and water

The federal government’s amendments to the transport of animals regulations are causing controversy among cattle producers. The new rules were introduced Feb. 20 and are scheduled to take effect in February 2020. Why it matters: Cattle producers and truckers will have to adhere to new transportation regulations that may be premature, affecting animals and producers’ […] Read more

Editorial: The gaping difference

We’ve known for years that there’s a gaping chasm between the world view of some urbanites and the people who have made it their vocation to care for animals. Luckily for most, that chasm has not been physical. Animal rights activists and livestock farmers haven’t often met. There are some notable exceptions, including activists gaining […] Read more

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