Today, Earls reversed its decision to source only “Certified Humane (TM)” beef from the United States, instead choosing to maintain a Canadian supply chain. This situation reflects a consumer desire for animal welfare standards in the animal agriculture industry; many consumers are shocked to learn that this is essentially an unregulated industry.
Lawyer Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy for Animal Justice, said:
“Earls’ public relations disaster makes it clear that consumers want standards, transparency, and accountability right here in Canada. Our animal agriculture industry has fought against being regulated, using its considerable political clout to block even minimum required animal welfare rules or any on-farm oversight. But animal welfare is a public responsibility, not a private one.
“Consumers have more questions than ever about where food is coming from, and animal welfare is a top concern. Polls show we are united in caring about animals. Meanwhile, undercover investigations reveal the way animals are treated in modern commercial farming and slaughter operations is at odds with our shared values of compassion and justice for animals.
“Private third-party certification bodies, like the American non-profit behind the trademark ‘Certified Humane,’ are filling a void that government is creating by refusing to regulate animal welfare on farms, at the behest of the animal agriculture industry itself. It is long past time for government to introduce unified animal welfare standards and a corresponding enforcement mechanism.”