May 20, 2004, VANCOUVER – Bird flu, mad cow disease, suspect meat processing practices and a lack of meat inspectors that have been frequently reported in the media the last several months are cause for concern says The Humane Society of Canada (HSC). Cruel factory farming techniques, how we feed, treat and kill animals kept for human consumption combined with a significant lack of qualified meat inspectors has resulted in tragic consequences for both animals and those people who are dependent on them.


“Keeping thousands of animals confined in small spaces and feeding them chemicals and other unhealthy, unnatural food results in numerous problems,” says HSC Western Regional Director Al Hickey. “When you add processing sick and injured animals to the equation along with providing a woefully inadequate number of qualified inspectors then you have an effective formula for animal and human suffering.”


HSC Executive Director Michael O’Sullivan can’t figure out why this inhumane, deadly trend hasn’t been reversed now that we know the results of our modern day farming practices.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you shouldn’t keep thousands of animals in windowless, poorly ventilated ‘prisons’ or confine them to feedlots,” says an angry O’Sullivan. “Similarly, we should realize that feeding animals to animals, feeding them mass quantities of antibiotics and other chemicals and processing sick and injured animals is only asking for trouble.”

O’Sullivan, who has worked with farm animals for many years and who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, has hope that we can mend our cruel, dangerous farming methods for the benefit of animals and people.

“Switching farming practices to more healthy, humane methods will benefit everyone and they are attainable,” states O’Sullivan. “There are simple things, like eliminating the feeding of animals to animals, increasing the number of inspectors and giving them more training that could be easily and quickly realized. Other steps, like encouraging organic and free range farming, might take a little longer to achieve, but they too are easily attainable and will result in a safer, more humane system.”

Last fall The Humane Society of Canada wrote to Prime Minister Jean Chretien with concerns about farming practices in Canada and how they could be significantly improved. You can see a copy of this letter which includes The HSC 12 point action plan to help protect people, animals, the environment and the economy by clicking here.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at via twitter at and on Facebook at:

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

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