Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Gooch's letter February 05, 2016
Re: Shortage of slaughterhouse workers
To: Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Agriculture Minister; Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister; Terry Beech, MP
Since last May, we have been hearing that Canada’s meat industry is facing an ‘acute, chronic’ worker shortage.
Just recently, the Canadian Meat Council reported a shortage of 1,000 slaughterhouse workers despite our country’s depressed economy. According to news media outlet Global News, Canadian meat companies “can’t find enough Canadians willing to work on the kill floor or to carve beef and pork carcasses in their plants.” “We have people who walk away after a couple of hours,” said Werner Siegrist, of Canadian Premium Meats.
Federal employment minister MaryAnn Mihychuk stated that along with finding Canadian workers to fill these undesirable positions, she is also focused on “refugees that are coming into our country so that they can fill those posts.” Some processing plants are looking to newly-settled Syrian refugees—many of whom do not consume pork—as a potential source of labor.
Really? Haven’t these people endured enough suffering? It’s well documented that slaughterhouse workers often experience a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. As these workers are increasingly being treated for PTSD, researchers are finally starting to systematically explore the results of killing sentient animals for a living.
Government should NOT be using taxpayer money to bail out, aid, and/or subsidize the barbaric and morally bankrupt animal agriculture industry. Incredibly, just last month, the governments of Canada and Manitoba announced that they are giving $2.5 million in funding to producer-owned Granny’s Poultry, notorious for its cruel practices, to expand its slaughter operations.
Poultry slaughterhouse, Lilydale, has faced charges more than once under the Health of Animals Act and Meat Inspection Act. Violations of existing acts and regulations are common in all sectors.
In every undercover investigation into the dairy, egg, and meat industries by groups like Mercy For Animals, systemic suffering and abuses have been exposed. Any industry in which animals are treated as mere commodities and exploited for profit is inherently cruel.
Whether it’s concern for animal welfare, the environment, or personal health, consumers are shunning animal products. Beef consumption is down a whopping 28 per cent since the early 2000s and pork consumption in Canada has dropped by 17.5 per cent in the same period, according to Statistics Canada. The industry is dying.
If there is to be any monetary investment by government, the way forward is to get on board by initiating and supporting healthful, cruelty-free, ethical, and sustainable plant-based foods.
Stop enabling the use of animals as part of the economy. They are not expendable production machines. Surely, we don’t want to continue to live in a society where the value of a life is reduced to a material good when we don’t have to.