Report to Members 2017
Below, please find our 2017 Report to Members. Should you have any questions, comments or concerns, we can be reached at 416-462-9541 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Parks Canada describes itself as the guardians of the national parks. Yet, staff culls wild animals who inhabit many of the parks across the country. One of our major campaigns is to stop Parks Canada’s use of lethal management. Below are some of the specific parks where culling is being considered or takes place and where we have intervened to try to stop it or have written to make our opposition known.
i) Parks where we have intervened:
a. Cormorant cull, Middle Island, Point Pelee National Park (PPNP): We have campaigned against the cormorant cull on Middle Island, Point Pelee National Park. For the first time in the 9-year fight to stop the cull, we were joined by US animal protection group, SHARK (Showing Animals Respect and Kindness). SHARK’s video documented the terrible cruelty of the cull, challenged the government scientists and exposed wasted tax dollars. (animalalliance.ca/new-cormorant-video-exposes-cruelty/) We will be on the water in 2018 to continue to document the cruelty, and pressure Parks Canada to stop the cull.
b. Grey seal cull, Sable Island: We continue to monitor Parks Canada’s management of the Sable Island horses and grey seals who use the island as their breeding grounds. In 2010, the federal government considered a cull of grey seals on Sable Island but never implemented the plan due to logistics and costs. We continue to monitor the situation and are prepared to mount a campaign in opposition should the government decide to proceed.
c. Elk, moose and bison culls: Elk Island National Park: Elk Island is the only national park that is completely fenced. Park’s staff are deciding whether to allow a hunt of elk, bison, moose and deer. Culling is already a relatively common activity in this park and involved shipping bison for auction or slaughter. Hunting has not been allowed in this park but is now under consideration. Jordan Reichert, our West Coast Campaign Officer attended the public meeting about the cull and we presented a non-lethal alternative management option which was rejected by park staff and the Minister.
ii) Parks where we have expressed our opposition:
a. Beavers, Gulf Island National Park Reserve: Parks Canada considered culling beaver in the Gulf Island National Park Reserve but backed away from the decision after a huge public outcry from the local community and the broader public. We sent the beaver manual to Parks Canada to show effective non-lethal alternatives to beaver management. The manual is titled Techniques for Mitigating Human/Beaver Conflicts in Urban and Suburban Environments and is available at animalalliance.ca/campaigns/wildcompasion/.
b. Deer cull, Point Pelee National Park: Once again park staff decided to implement yet another deer cull in Point Pelee National Park. They claim the deer are damaging the park ecosystem, so they plan to kill 100 deer, leaving just 32 in the park. The staff know that they cannot keep the deer population at 32 since the park is surrounded by deer habitat. New animals will enter the park after the 100 are killed. So the killing continues, year after year. We have to document the cruelty of the deer hunt as we have in some of our provincial parks and conservation areas.
c. Moose culls, Terra Nova, Gros Morne and Cape Breton Highlands National Parks: Parks Canada has conducted culls of moose in all three national parks, again arguing that the moose are destroying the environment.
a. Culling “urban” deer in BC municipalities: As a result of our pressure over the last 7 years, only 2 of the 5 communities, Cranbrook and Invermere, continue to cull mule deer. Because of our opposition to the culling in both communities, they have been significantly restricted as to where they can cull. We will continue to apply significant pressure on the communities and the Ministry staff to find alternative non-lethal methods.
b. BC mule deer relocation project: As a result of our pressure to stop mule deer culls, the BC Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations agreed to help fund and participate in a deer relocation pilot project in the East Kootenays. Animal Alliance actively participated in the relocation project by contributing funds, attending the relocation work and collaborating with local residents through the BC Deer Protection Society. The report is now available on the AAC website at https://www.animalalliance.ca/campaigns/other-campaigns/deer-in-british-columbia/. The City of Kimberley has applied for an additional relocation permit and this time APPC agreed to participate and help fund the project and work with members of the community on other non-lethal alternatives.
a. Provincial Parks: We have been working to stop lethal deer management in Ontario’s provincial parks. Presqu’ile, Rondeau, Pinery, Short Hills and Clear Creek all have conducted lethal deer reduction programmes. Some parks like Rondeau have done so for over 20 years.
b. Short Hills Provincial Park: Our most recent fight has been at Short Hills Provincial Park, the smallest provincial park in Ontario. The cull started in 2013 and to date has cost the taxpayers well over $200,000 to allow hunters to kill the deer. In addition, we have documented the extensive damage done to the park during the hunt. We have also documented the terrible cruelty of the bow hunt including the orphaning of dependent fawns when their mothers were killed and the wounding of deer who were left to die a prolonged and cruel death. AAC, APPC and Born Free have written to and met with the Minister of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, appeared before Niagara Regional Council and the Niagara Regional Police Board to outline concerns about the cull. To date all have been unable or unwilling to protect public safety and end the cruelty and environmental destruction.
The Ministry has failed to address these issues, so we intend to seek assistance from the Ontario Environmental Commissioner to see if we can force the Ministry to conduct an environmental assessment of the impacts of the hunts on the parks ecosystems.
i) Cosmetic Testing:
a. Cosmetic testing: S-214 – Cruelty Free Cosmetic Act: We have worked to ensure the passage of the Cruelty Free Cosmetic Act in the Senate. After two years of lobbying, the Bill is now at Third Reading and should pass the Senate vote in late February or early March. The major battle begins when the Bill is sent to Parliament for discussion and debate.
ii) Animal research – Trauma training:
a. Department of National Defence (DND): In 2012 we began researching the DND’s use of live animals in trauma training, about 3,000 a year. The term trauma training refers to the training of first responders to wounded soldiers and civilians. In most NATO countries the use of live animals has been replaced with sophisticated simulators that mimic the human body. Canada is in the minority of NATO countries that continue to use live animals. The publication, MILITARY MEDICINE, 177, 8:907, 2012, titled Use of Animals by NATO Countries in Military Medical Training Exercises: An International Survey found that 22 NATO countries (78.6%) confirmed they do not use animals in MMT exercises, citing various reasons including legal prohibitions against animal use and availability of simulation technology. Six NATO countries (21.4%), including Canada reported that their MMT programs do use animals, primarily pigs and goats, for training in the surgical management of trauma including difficult airways, penetrating injuries, gunshot wounds, and amputation hemorrhaging. The Canadian Department of National Defence also uses pigs in live agent chemical casualty management exercises.
b. Canadian Council on Animal Care: The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is a federal voluntary body that oversees publicly funded animal research in Canada. As part of our campaign, “Science Without Suffering” we are calling for legislative change to provide for:
• Greater accountability, the CCAC must be publicly accountable for the source of their funding;
• Greater transparency, the CCAC must be subject to Freedom of Information requests, since the Agency is presently exempt;
• Full disclosure by the CCAC of those institutions that are not compliant;
• Mandatory reporting by all research institutions to the CCAC including disclosing the number of animals used, the purpose for which they were used and the level of invasiveness of the research and
• That composition of the CCAC Council, Assessment Panels and Animal Care Committees be made up of a majority of representatives from animal protection backgrounds.
Animal Transport Regulations: For years, the federal government has promised to revise the transport regulations for farm animals. The changes have yet to appear. Currently, cows, sheep and goats can be transported for 52 hours without food, water or rest. For pigs, horses and chickens, the time is 36 hours. The animals are exposed to water and food deprivation, exhaustion, jostling and piling, over-heating or exposure to cold temperatures. Even if the federal government changes the transport times, the intensive animal agriculture industry has lobbied hard to keep the transport hours as long as possible, so we do not expect significant change. As with the seal hunt, significant change for farm animals will not occur in Canada until pressured by other countries to change. We intend to reach out to our European counterparts to see if we can use the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to force change in Canada.
a. Electoral Reform: Our Party worked actively for electoral reform, specifically proportional representation. Many supporters of the Party wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau asking for changes to the way elections are run in Canada. To our very great disappointment, the Prime Minister decided to abandon his commitment to change the way we vote in Canada.
b. Municipal elections: While the federal government abandoned electoral reform, many municipal communities have implemented more progressive change. The City of Victoria, for example, has a ranked ballot voting system so we will be exploring election possibilities in Victoria as well as other communities where electoral reform has been implemented.
c. Advisory Committee of Political Parties (ACPP): The Animal Protection Party of Canada is a member and active participant of Elections Canada’s Advisory Committee of Political Parties (ACPP). The purpose of the ACPP is to provide the Chief Electoral Officer with advice and recommendations relating to elections and political financing.
d. Party Platform: We are currently working on a more extensive party platform in preparation for the 2019 federal election. We will make it available for everyone and look forward to suggestions and comments.
e. Candidate Interviews: In preparation for the election, we are interviewing those people who express a desire to run as a candidate in 2019.