History and Victories

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Animal Alliance of Canada (AAC) is a federally incorporated non-profit organization committed to the protection of all animals and to the promotion of a harmonious relationship among humans, non-humans and the environment. As a non-profit, we are able to use electoral politics and lobbying as strategies to make the legislators pass sound animal and environmental protection laws. We also provide educational materials and resources to the media, general public, students and other organizations.

AAC was founded in August of 1990 and since then we have grown substantially. We have over 15,000 supporters across Canada and are funded entirely by private donations.

Below is a brief summary of just some of our victories for the animals:

Puppy Mills: In 1991, we proposed that Agriculture Canada amend the Health of Animals Regulations in order to stop the importation of sick, injured and genetically compromised puppies from the United States. The regulations were passed, resulting in a 73% decline in the number of puppies coming into Canada.

Cows – rBGH: We were part of a coalition of organizations responsible for convincing the federal government to ban the use of rBGH, a bovine growth hormone, in dairy cows. The ban remains in place today.

Hunting – Bears: We were part of a coalition of organizations responsible for winning a ban on spring bear hunting in Ontario, a jurisdiction with a large bear population and one of the largest bear hunts in North America.

Hunting – Bear spearing: We were instrumental in banning bear spearing as a method of hunting in both Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Trade in Bear Galls: We were instrumental in shutting down most of the trade in bear parts in Canada.

Downer Animals: We won a national ban on the transport of “downer” farm animals.

Frogs: Through work with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources officials, AAC was successful in securing a ban on the collection and sale of most species of native frogs for commercial fishing bait.

Canada Geese: In 2007 we won a significant victory when the City of Kelowna was denied a permit to kill 200 Canada geese, making it difficult for other municipalities across Canada from getting such a permit. For over 10 years we have defended Canada geese from massive slaughter as is happening in municipalities all across the United States.

Trapping and Hunting: As a result of several tragic incidents, we have worked to implement hunting and trapping bans in several municipalities in Ontario and Alberta where the incidents occurred. The City of Guelph has passed a model by-law which largely bans leghold and conibear traps. We will be sending the model by-law to all municipalities across Canada.

Commercial Seal Hunt/Canadian Seafood Boycott: We are part of a coalition of organizations working for a ban on all seal products in Europe. The campaign resulted in the European Union implementing a European-wide ban, beginning in 2010. The boycott of Canadian seafood continues until the Canadian government ends the commercial seal hunt.

Sable Island and Grey Seals:  When the federal government declared Sable Island a national park, Animal Alliance presented recommendations to Parks Canada staff.  The recommendations are as follows:

Recommendation #1:  That Parks Canada take a hands off approach to the management of the flora and fauna of Sable Island and limit human activity in order to protect the island and its inhabitants.  This includes the horses who have been part of the Sable Island environment since the 1700s and are acclimatized to the Island.  In addition, where human activity negatively impacts wildlife, such as disturbance to the tern colonies, that activity should cease, move or be modified to eliminate the disturbance.

Recommendation #2:  That ecological integrity, as defined in the Canada National Parks Act be applied to the management of Sable Island.  The Act defines ecological integrity as “…a condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes.”  In addition, horses must also be protected since they are acclimatized to Sable Island.

Recommendation #3:  That Parks Canada staff take a strong position against the Department of Fisheries and Oceans report titled, “Logistical Evaluation of Options to Manage the Grey Seal Population on Sable Island” and that Parks Canada make it clear to the DFO that there should be no seal killing on Sable Island now that it will become a national park.

Recommendation #4:  That Parks Canada recommend against killing any native or acclimatized species on Sable Island including the grey seals, horses and gulls, all mentioned in various reports.

Cormorant Slaughter:  Presqu’ile Provincial Park:  Between 2004 and 2006, Ontario Parks staff killed over 10,000 cormorants at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.  Culling has not occurred since.  However, Ontario Parks staff sought the right to cull cormorants for an additional 10 years through the Environmental Assessment Act.  Animal Alliance, in co-operation with other animal protection organizations, intervened in the EA process and convinced the Ontario Environment Minister to limit severely culling actions by Ontario Parks.  We continue to monitor the situation to ensure that parks staff adhere to the EA directives.  Point Pelee National Park:  Parks Canada is also killing cormorants on Middle Island, a bird sanctuary that is part of Point Pelee National Park.  Parks Canada claims that the birds, who are native to Ontario, are destroying the island. Despite our battle to stop the slaughter, Parks Canada has killed thousands of cormorants.  We intend to continue the fight until Parks Canada ends their war against cormorants and decides to protect them.

Ontario elk:  In 2011, the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources announced that an elk hunt would take place in Bancroft Ontario with the claim that the tiny herd, numbering 470, was self-sustaining and could withstand the removal of 70 individuals.  The hunt was announced as a way to resolve the conflict between elk and the local farmers.  The conflict is exacerbated by residents who have actively fed some 35 to 40 elk over a number of years.  The elk access nearby farms, causing crop loss and fence damage.

The MNR staff have been subjected to stiff criticism for using lethal options to resolve the conflict.  The elk are present in the area because of human actions.  The animals have been fed regularly over a number of years and are likely dependant on that food source.  The MNR staff have not intervened to stop the feeding, nor have they used their legislative authority to address the problem.

Animal Alliance will continue to fight to stop the hunt and to pressure the Minister to protect the herd, which should be declared “at risk”.

Human-wildlife conflict prevention and wildlife rehabilitation:  Animal Alliance has worked closely with rehabilitators who take in orphaned and injured wildlife, care for them, and re-release them into the environment.  Governments across North America have passed wildlife rehabilitation laws that are so restrictive most rehabilitators cannot continue to offer their service to the community.  They fear fines, seizures of their animals and prosecutions.  We continue to work with a coalition of organizations to change regulations that would allow responsible rehabilitation and to provide support for those who so generously donate their services to help these animals and provide a service to members of the public.

Pound Seizure and Research:  We won a ban on the sale of lost pets for experimentation from municipalities in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Newfoundland and Manitoba.  According to Canadian Council on Animal Care statistics, the Province of Quebec uses the largest number of dogs and cats for experimentation, followed by Ontario.  AAC continues to fight to end the sale of lost pets to research across Canada, focusing on Quebec and Ontario as the largest users.

Protection of lost pets in shelters:  Animal Alliance works with municipalities across Canada who want to implement progressive and humane animal care and control programmes, such as in the City of Calgary.  We are focusing on Quebec, a province with very few progressive animal protection programmes.  We continue to campaign in Montreal, where euthanasia rates top 100 dogs and cats a day (the worst rate in all of North America).

Project Jessie:  Project Jessie is our hands-on rescue programme.  Every year we rescue 400 dogs and cats from shelters that sell to research or have a high euthanasia rate.  We take the animals no-one else wants and find them loving, permanent homes.  Project Jessie was formed in 1991.  Over the past 20 years, we have rescued over 8,000 animals, including birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, sheep, cows, as well as dogs and cats.