VICTORIA – B.C. New Democrats support the call from the B.C. SPCA for stronger legislation to protect farm animals and prevent cases of animal cruelty in British Columbia.

“People in B.C. are extremely concerned about animal welfare and want to know that farm animals are being treated with care,” said New Democrat agriculture critic Nicholas Simons. “Cases of animal cruelty cannot be left undetected, unreported, or unenforced.”

Simons was commenting in response to a recent case of animal cruelty at a dairy farm in Chilliwack. He said it’s a positive sign that the B.C. Dairy Association is fully engaged with the B.C. SPCA in an effort to prevent future incidents of animal cruelty.

Simons supports the call from the B.C. SPCA for the B.C. government to make amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and adopt the Canadian Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals. The Codes of Practice are nationally developed association guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. If the B.C. government were to enshrine the Codes of Practice into law, the government would then have the ability to ensure farms meet standards and best practices.

He noted that B.C. is one of the only provinces to have not adopted the Codes of Practice and that Newfoundland, P.E.I., New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have all enshrined the standards into their provincial legislation.

“Enshrining these codes of practices into provincial legislation would better protect farm animals by ensuring minimum standards of care are defined and followed. This would be a progressive and proactive move for the government to make, and I fully support the call from the B.C. SPCA to see government action on it soon.”