October is Farm Animal Month at the BC SPCA, and the organization is encouraging British Columbians to take action for more than 100 million farm animals raised in B.C. each year. SPCA Certified farmer Trevor Newton, a former animal rights activist, shares what animal welfare means to him.
“I feel we owe farm animals quality of life. We owe them safety. We owe them protection. We owe them the kind of life they were meant to live,” says Newton, noting that many farm animals are not free to practice natural behaviours when confined to tiny cages or narrow stalls. “Otherwise, we’re stealing from that animal.”
Trevor and his wife Kelly lead by example at Sumas Mountain Farms in Abbotsford. In recognition of Farm Animal Month, Newton candidly shares what he learned about farming by starting out as an animal rights activist.
“When I look back, I think becoming a farmer was my calling,” he says. “There are many people who want to make positive changes to the planet and the way animals are raised, but who haven’t considered farming as a way to do that.” he continues. “You will accomplish more leading by example. It’s time to take off the suit, put on the overalls, and make the change happen yourself.”
The BC SPCA also encourages animal lovers to ask what else they can do for our hooved, horned, and feathered friends this month. Here are five ideas:
1. Raise your voice for Canada’s farming standards. The Canadian Code of Practice sets minimum requirements for the care of farm animals. In Canada, 700 million animals are raised for food each year, and 95 per cent of these animals are chickens and turkeys. The Code for chickens and turkeys is being updated, and the first draft will be open for public comment on Oct. 5. Don’t miss your chance to speak up for these farm animals!
2. Vote for farm animal welfare at the grocery store. Choose SPCA Certified eggs, cheeses and meats to ensure high standards of animal welfare, and to support farmers like Trevor and Kelly Newton. Find a SPCA Certified retailer near you, or use our customer request card to ask your local store to carry SPCA Certified products. Check out our food label factsheet to learn more about labelling claims.
3. Educate yourself about farm animal issues. The more you know, the more you can help to create change. Explore the BC SPCA’s online resources about farm animal welfare.
4. Speak for animals. The BC SPCA believes that farm animals deserve the Five Freedoms. Help us speak for animals by adding your voice to one or more of our farm animal welfare campaigns.
5. Subscribe to FarmSense. Stay updated about farm animal issues with FarmSense, the BC SPCA’s quarterly email newsletter on farm animal welfare.
Help make a difference for farm animals in B.C. and across Canada, and register your actions in the BC SPCA’s Million Acts of Kindness Campaign. Share your act of kindness for farm animals using #millionacts, or by sending a description of your act with a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.