Easter is just around the corner, and the BC SPCA is reminding British Columbians that it can be a humane holiday, by choosing to use SPCA Certified products for meals and activities like Easter egg decorating. SPCA Certified products come from farms that are annually assessed to SPCA Certified farm animal welfare standards, which ensure that the animals lead less stressful, more natural lives and are free to express natural behaviours like nesting and grazing.
“By planning Easter meals and activities using SPCA Certified products, you’re using humanely sourced foods that are often local, which supports the local farming industry,” says Brandy Street SPCA Certified manager. Most farms enrolled in the program are located in B.C. and Alberta, with a recent addition – Harley farms –in Ontario, she notes.
“More and more people are asking questions not only about where their food comes from, but about how their food was raised, and SPCA Certified products can give them some answers as well as peace of mind. You can colour SPCA Certified eggs just as beautifully as non-certified eggs.”
Beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, pigs, turkeys, broiler (meat) chickens and egg-laying chickens are among the animals covered by SPCA certification.
When it comes to giving Easter gifts, the BC SPCA reminds the public that, unless a family is already considering adopting a pet rabbit, it is better to give chocolate bunnies as gifts, rather than real rabbits.
Each year, SPCA branches across the province receive dozens of abandoned rabbits after the Easter holiday has passed and the excitement of a new pet has worn off and the reality of pet care sets in.
“The animals turned in to SPCA shelters are the lucky ones,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager, community relations. “Many others are simply abandoned in the wild to fend for themselves, and these domesticated rabbits often fall prey to predators such as coyotes, are susceptible to disease, or end up starving to death.”
Alternatively, if there are no predators, the rabbits may flourish and upset the balance of nature by multiplying into a serious overpopulation problem.
“We encourage people to be fully aware of what caring for a rabbit involves before they adopt any bunnies as pet,” Chortyk says.
Find out more at spca.bc.ca.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.