Barlow’s Bill C-205 Debated in Parliament (Biosecurity on Farms)

A Private Members’ Bill introduced by John Barlow, Member of Parliament for Foothills, begins the first hour of debate on Thursday November 26th in the House of Commons.

MP Barlow’s Bill C-205, An Act to amend the Health of Animals Act, addresses the critical issue of securing the biosecurity of our food supply, especially when people trespass onto farm property and at facilities. It will also increase the penalties for groups and organizations who encourage individuals to threaten the health of animals, workers and farm families.

This Bill does not limit an individual’s right to peacefully protest on public property.

“When activists trespass onto farm property and facilities they may not fully grasp the consequences of their actions,” said Barlow.

“First and foremost, they are endangering the safety of livestock, farmers, their families and workers.

“Protecting Canada’s food supply is critical – viruses like African Swine Fever (ASF), Avian Influenza (AI), Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) pose a real threat to Canadian agriculture.

“These biosecurity threats can decimate poultry operations, livestock herds and devastate our industry and economy.

“We have seen the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the entire Canadian economy, animal-borne diseases like ASF and FMD would equally devastate our agriculture sector from farm to table,“ concluded MP Barlow.

Bill C-205 was first introduced in Parliament on February 18th 2020, however, debate was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of Parliament.

Strengthening biosecurity measures for trespassers is something farmers, ranchers, food processors, farm groups and commodity organizations all support.

 

Stakeholder Quotes:

“The CFA supports in principle, and encourages, MP John Barlow’s private members bill to support Canadian farmers, who have been negatively impacted by activism. We believe that the introduction of this bill is an important and necessary step in the right direction.” – Mary Robinson, President, Canadian Federation of Agriculture

“Canadian beef cattle producers are devoted to the highest standards of health and welfare for their animals. Biosecurity is essential to protecting herd health and the safety of Canada’s food system. CCA supports Bill C-205 proposed by MP Barlow and believes the amendments will provide increased safety to producers, the cattle they raise, and food they produce.” – Bob Lowe, President, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

“CMC applauds the introduction of the amendments to the Health of Animals Act that will protect our food supply from exposure to disease by trespassers on private properties. We have been vocal in our call for action against trespassers and activists while continuing to affirm our commitment to high standards of animal care and illegal trespassing endangers animals, foods safety, foods supply and our own workers.” – Canadian Meat Council

“Animal health and well-being is a priority for pork producers. Intrusions on a pork farm cause a breach in the biosecurity protocols in place to protect the health of the animals and puts their care in jeopardy. Supportive measures such as Bill 20X to deter trespassing, acts of breaking and entering, acts of vandalism and intimidation are very well received by pork producers.” – Rick Bergman, Chair of Canadian Pork Council

“Canada’s 2,877 chicken farmers take pride in raising safe food for Canadians. CFC’s Raised by a Canadian Farmer On Farm Food Safety Program enforces strict biosecurity measures on every farm across the country to limit the spread of disease. This proposed legislation will further strengthen the Health of Animals Act to ensure trespassers are prosecuted for their actions, while preventing the potential spread of disease.” – Benoît Fontaine, Chair, Chicken Farmers of Canada

“Egg Farmers of Canada supports MP John Barlow’s bill to amend the Health of Animals Act. Canada’s more than 1,100 egg farmers follow comprehensive and rigorous food safety standards, which include strict biosecurity measures. The proposed amendments to the Health of Animals Act offer an avenue to further strengthen our overall food system by enhancing the measures in place to protect the health of farm animals across our country.” – Roger Pelissero, Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada.

“The Turkey Farmers of Canada supports the private members’ bill put forward by Alberta MP John Barlow, to amend the Health of Animals Act. We feel this amendment has positive implications for protecting the health and welfare of animals on farm, and is supportive of Canadian farmers who work hard to care for the animals in their barns.” – Darren Ference, Chair of Turkey Farmers of Canada