Federal Conservative Agriculture Critic & Foothills MP John Barlow has introduced Bill C-205, an Act to amend the Health of Animals Act.
This Bill will make it an offence under the Health of Animals Act for anyone to enter, without lawful authority or excuse, a place in which animals are kept if doing so could result in the exposure of the animals to a disease or toxic substance.
"Protecting the biosecurity of animals and workers must be the priority when it comes to farms and food processing centres," said Barlow. "In today’s global marketplace it is critical we protect the integrity of Canada’s supply chain and ensure our food remains safe to eat, prevent disease outbreaks, and ensure farmers and businesses do not lose significant income."
Barlow says there's a mental health aspect to the legislation. He says it came to light after a Turkey farm near Fort Macleod was overrun by protesters last year.
"When I met with the farmer and his family afterwards you could just see how distraught they were, how upset they were, they just didn't know what top do," he says. "I just had so many calls and e-mails and letters from farmers and ranchers throughout the riding who are really concerned, is this open season on farming?"
"Animal health and well-being is a priority for pork producers," said Rick Bergman, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council. "Intrusions on a pork farm cause a breach in the biosecurity protocols in place to protect the health of the animals and puts their care in jeopardy. Supportive measures such as Bill C-205 to deter trespassing, acts of breaking and entering, acts of vandalism and intimidation are very well received by pork producers."
Barlow says Bill will not limit an individual’s right to peacefully protest on public property. However, it will increase the penalties for groups and organizations who encourage individuals to threaten the biosecurity of animals and workers.
Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have already strengthened laws aimed at trespassing but this Bill addresses the issue of securing the health of animals from unauthorized trespassing on a national scale.Click here to see more...