December 21, 1957

LIVESTOCK

ANNOUNCEMENT OP LEGISLATION RESPECTING HUMANE METHODS OF SLAUGHTER

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. E. D. Fulton (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, later this morning I shall be introducing a bill to amend the Criminal Code with regard to the humane slaughtering of food animals. It is the intention to give this bill first reading only and I should like to make a statement now to advise the house of our plans.

For some time there has been a growing demand for action that would compel the slaughterers of food animals to adopt a humane method of killing. The concern has been mainly that these animals are subjected to shackling, hoisting, bleeding, or other processes connected with slaughtering while they are still fully conscious. Special humane slaughter associations have been formed and these, together with the various branches of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, have spearheaded the drive for legislation to make humane methods of slaughter mandatory.

The previous government took the position that no further legislation was necessary; that the present section 387 of the Criminal Code makes it an offence to cause unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, and that all that was required was enforcement of this legislation. However, a test case involving the usual slaughter methods in an abattoir came before a magistrate in Vancouver this fall and was dismissed. The decision was appealed, but the appeal was also dismissed. This demonstrated pretty conclusively that something more is required, and we are prepared to act accordingly.

There are difficulties in this field which all have recognized. There are questions as to what type of action or legislation is called for by the government, and at what level of government, and whether a method or methods of humane slaughter exist which it would be sound, from a practical and economic point of view, to require the slaughterers to follow.

A special committee was formed in the province of Ontario to study these problems,

including representatives from the meat packers' council of Canada and the Ontario

S.P.C.A. The government made available two of its experts in the field, and more recently the national research council has joined in a full-scale investigation program.

The government welcomed the formation of this committee and looked forward to its advice. We were concerned to avoid action which would produce legislation which would either be simply unenforced and unenforceable or, alternatively, if enforced would simply result in driving a number of packers out of business. At the suggestion of the committee action was accordingly deferred until they might have an opportunity to report.

An interim report was received from the committee on October 31, and on November 13 my colleague the Minister of Agriculture and I, together with our parliamentary assistants and departmental officers, met with the joint chairmen and other representatives of the committee.

At that meeting we were advised that while no complete solution to the problem of method so far as hogs and sheep are concerned had been agreed upon as being immediately practicable for universal action in Canada, nevertheless such methods do exist. We were also advised that there was agreement that humane methods of slaughter of cattle could immediately be enforced. It was also clear that the committee felt that action by government is essential.

The committee is to continue its study on the same basis as before, with the full assistance of the government experts and the national research council. In this connection I find that I must make a correction in a statement I made on December 10. It was my understanding as a result of that meeting, that the S.P.C.A. representatives felt there was nothing further they could usefully do, having made clear their views as to the necessity for legislation. I am glad to find that they are continuing as members of the committee, and that the committee is functioning fully.

There is, then, general agreement that humane methods of slaughter exist and can be made applicable in Canada although there are still some problems to be solved. In considering our course of action we have had to bear the following factors in mind. First,

Ministerial Statements that there is a measure of divided responsibility, and that in any criminal legislation to be introduced we must bear in mind that the responsibility for enforcement rests with the provinces. Second, that hasty action on the part of the government might force out of business abattoirs and packing plants and could result in a shortage of such commodities as bacon, etc. Third, that impracticable or unenforceable legislation does more harm than good. Fourth, that the provinces have an interest in the matter especially from the point of view of enforcement, and therefore should be consulted.

We have accordingly drafted a bill which we believe to be practical and enforceable, first reading of which I shall be moving in a few moments. It is not the intention to proceed further with the bill at this session, but to make it available to all interested persons, including especially the attorneys general of the provinces. We shall welcome their views and suggestions as to the legislation, and also the views and suggestions of the packers and all those interested or involved in this problem.

All representations received will then be studied, and we shall be prepared to make such changes in the legislation as appear desirable in the light of those studies. After making such changes as are necessary we would propose to reintroduce and enact the legislation at the next session of parliament.

In this way we will hope to have sound legislation which will produce the desired result with a minimum of hardship and a maximum of co-operation.

Topic:   LIVESTOCK
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OP LEGISLATION RESPECTING HUMANE METHODS OF SLAUGHTER
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CRIMINAL CODE

AMENDMENT RESPECTING HUMANE SLAUGHTER OP ANIMALS

PC

Edmund Davie Fulton (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. E. D. Fulton (Minister of Justice) moved

for leave to introduce Bill No. 241, to amend the Criminal Code (slaughtering of animals).

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HUMANE SLAUGHTER OP ANIMALS
Permalink
CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Herridge:

I congratulate the government on accepting the C.C.F. approach.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING HUMANE SLAUGHTER OP ANIMALS
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ATLANTIC PROVINCES

LEGISLATION RESPECTING

PC

Francis Alvin George Hamilton (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Alvin Hamilton (Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources) moved

that the house go into committee at the next sitting to consider the following resolution, which has been recommended to the house by His Excellency:

That it is expedient to introduce a measure to authorize the government of Canada to enter into

agreements with any of the Atlantic provinces to provide assistance in the generation of electric energy by thermal electric power projects and in the control and transmission of electric energy, and including provisions for the payment of a subvention on coal used in the production of electric energy.

Topic:   ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Subtopic:   LEGISLATION RESPECTING
Sub-subtopic:   THERMAL PROJECTS
Permalink

Motion agreed to.


LABOUR CONDITIONS

FURTHER STATEMENT ON WINTER EMPLOYMENT PROJECTS


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George H. Hees (Minisier of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre asked why the work program announced by the Canadian National Railways did not include some special projects for Fort Rouge and Trans-cona.

The car equipment program that is being undertaken by the Canadian National Railways is the conversion of damaged or obsolete cars into extra gang feeding cars, bunk cars, and so forth. This work can only be done in regularly equipped car shops. In the case of Fort Rouge, as the hon. member knows, the car shops at that point were destroyed by fire two years ago. With regard to Trans-cona, a special work program on hopper and general service cars is already under way there.

I might advise the house that I have asked the management of the Canadian National Railways to make a careful review of possible work projects that might be put into effect at other points on the system, and they have assured me they will do so.

Also, yesterday the hon. member for St. Antoine-Westmount inquired if it is the intention of the railway to proceed more rapidly with the work at Cote de Liesse and other points in the Montreal area.

As he knows, a contract has been let for grading at Cote de Liesse, and the management advise me that this work is well in hand and they do not think it could be further expedited. With regard to other points in the Montreal area, as I have just mentioned in reply to the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, the management have indicated they will give earnest consideration to expanding the work program wherever that is possible.

The hon. member for Essex East asked yesterday if the work program planned for Windsor airport could be expedited. Certain additional runway work is contemplated for the airport next year, and my officials are presently reviewing the project to see whether a start could be made this winter. The problem is one of getting the engineering

plans ready, and every effort will be made to expedite the project, although it is not yet possible to say exactly how soon tenders may be called.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   FURTHER STATEMENT ON WINTER EMPLOYMENT PROJECTS
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AIRPORTS

FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO HOSPITAL


On the orders of the day:


LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (Bonavisia-Twillin-gate):

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if I might address a question to the Minister of Transport. I wonder if in view of the unique national importance of Gander airport his department is still giving consideration to the possibility of federal assistance to the hospital at Gander, which consideration was begun by the previous administration.

Topic:   AIRPORTS
Subtopic:   FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO HOSPITAL
Permalink
PC

George Harris Hees (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George H. Hees (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, I answered that question some time earlier this year-

Topic:   AIRPORTS
Subtopic:   FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO HOSPITAL
Permalink

December 21, 1957