BC Heat Waves Are a Death Sentence For Farmed Animals

As British Columbia faces another heatwave with record-breaking high temperatures, animals trapped in crowded barns with poor ventilation or left in fields with limited shade will again be victims of our new climate reality.

Climate change is contributing to more extreme weather events which are often particularly threatening to vulnerable farmed animals. Documents obtained by Animal Justice revealed that at least 651,000 chickens and other birds died on farms during the 2021 British Columbia heat dome event when farms failed to ensure that cooling systems could keep pace with the extreme heat. 

Nothing has changed to prevent it from happening again. 

There is no current limit on the number of animals that can be housed on farms in Canada, and no regulations setting out welfare standards for farmed animals, or requiring an evacuation plan during a disaster. This leaves animals uniquely vulnerable to being left behind to suffer during emergencies, including floods, heat dome events, and barn fires

Animal Justice is calling on governments to take urgent action and provide legislation to protect animals on farms from the climate crisis. 

Studies estimate that the animal agriculture industry is responsible for a whopping 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transportation sector. As the chaos caused by climate change worsens, it is increasingly clear that farming animals for food plays a major role in the degradation of the planet. 

Image shows cows on porch during flood.
Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals Media

Beyond relief for animals facing the consequences of climate change, shifting more toward plant-based agriculture is more climate-friendly, better for animal welfare, and will be less vulnerable to the impacts of climate disasters.

Ag Gag Laws Help Conceal Animal Suffering

The Canadian government is notorious for ignoring the climate impacts of the animal agriculture industry. Not only are meat, dairy, and egg industries harmful to the planet, but numerous undercover exposés have revealed that these industries are riddled with animal abuse.

Governments in Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba have passed dangerous ag gag laws that make it almost impossible to document conditions of animals suffering on farms. Now, a troubling new federal bill is making ag gag laws a country-wide threat.

Animal Justice lawyers are fighting tirelessly to stop harmful ag gag laws. We’re currently suing Ontario to overturn its unconstitutional ag gag law, and are mobilizing supporters to stop a federal ag gag bill that’s currently in Parliament.

Please take action today to stop ag gag laws. We need more transparency in animal agriculture—not less.

Banner: Jo-Anne McArthur | Animal Equality