A federal e-petition has been launched, calling on the government to prohibit the breeding or raising of cephalopods in captivity on Canadian territory and ban the importation of farmed cephalopod products into Canada.
Let’s make Canada the first country to ban octopus farming!
Companies are getting close to artificially creating the conditions needed for industrial-scale breeding of cephalopods, like octopuses, and are racing to develop ways to keep them in large-scale commercial farms. One company, based in Spain’s Canary Islands, reportedly plans to open a facility this year where at least 60,000 captive octopuses will be kept and slaughtered every year for food.
All animals suffer on factory farms, but octopuses are especially unsuitable for intensive farming. Octopuses are known for their extraordinary intelligence, natural inquisitiveness and tendency to explore, manipulate and control their environment. They are also solitary animals that would not fare well in crowded aquaculture pens. Scientific experts have concluded that it is impossible to farm octopuses in a way that doesn’t cause them serious harm.
Petition e-4312 also acknowledges that it is environmentally unsustainable to meet the needs of octopuses’ carnivorous diets at such large scales. A substantial increase in the use of fishmeal and fish oil products would be needed to feed farmed octopuses and such operations would contribute to the unsustainable pressure exerted on wild fish populations.
The petition was initiated by the Montreal SPCA and authorized by Green Party leader Elizabeth May, with support from Animal Justice, Humane Canada, Last Chance for Animals, the BC SPCA, the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, the Vancouver Humane Society and the Winnipeg Humane Society. This official Canadian government petition can be signed by Canadian residents or citizens before the deadline of May 16, 2023. With enough signatures, MP May will present the petition to the House of Commons and compel the government to address the issue with a response.
Animal Justice is also a member of the Aquatic Animal Alliance coalition working to oppose octopus aquaculture development internationally and prevent the development of these factory farming methods before octopus farms become widespread. Non-Canadians can add their support by speaking out against octopus factory farms here, or by sharing the campaign on social media.