Canadians Rally In The Tens Of Thousands To Stop Animal Cruelty

The social stereotype is that Canadians just can't help but be nice, and a recent public outcry in support of animal rights suggests that might not be far from the truth.

A statement signed by a whopping 21,251 Canadian citizens calls on the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) to improve the living conditions of the more than one million breeding sows found on farms across Canada. The statement asks the NFACC to alter their draft Code of Practice and Handling of Pigs to phase out the use of gestation crates on Canadian farms. 

Breeding sows are confined to metal gestation crates little bigger than the animals themselves. The animals spend most of their lives in these crates that do not even provide enough room for the animal to turn around.  

Even superstar Canadian Ryan Gosling pitched in on the cause, declaring in an op-ed in the Canadian publication Globe and Mail that "no compassionate Canadian" could allow these animals to be confined for so long in such a small space.  

The organization Humane Society International/Canada will submit the collected signatures to the council along with the society's official comments. The hope is that the use of full-time gestation crates will be phased out by 2024. 

The new Code of Practice is slated to take effect in 2014. Should the animal rights outcry succeed, the further production of gestation crates would be halted at the code's implementation. The draft code would still permit farmers to keep sows in gestation crates for the five-week duration of their pregnancy.