Ottawa is set to announce a plan to reform its $2.3-billion farm subsidy programs over the next five years.
But it’s not clear what the government will do to stop the thousands of animals in Canada from being sent to slaughterhouses overseas, and to ensure that they receive veterinary care.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, a trade association, said in a statement that it “strongly supports the Government of Canada’s decision to implement a national farm animal welfare and veterinary care program that protects animals from animal husbandries.”
The group said the government must “immediately implement” the program, which is set for an overhaul in 2018.
It said the federal government should “implement a national animal welfare program that ensures animals receive veterinary and social care.”
A spokesperson for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has received about 1,000 calls about the program and has received “a very small number” of complaints.
“We will do our best to address these concerns,” she said in an email.
The federal government did not respond to a request for comment.
The Canadian Animal Welfare Association, a lobbying group, said the program has “no place in our legislation.”
The government also said the reforms are not the solution.
The government is taking steps to ensure animals in its programs are protected from human cruelty, said Environment Minister Sarah Hoffman, in a news release.
The department said it would introduce new requirements to ensure it’s doing its part to protect animals, but it would not change the current rules.
The new program will focus on the animal husbandrying requirement.
It will also introduce a “safety net” to ensure “animals do not fall through the cracks” and that animals are treated in a humane manner.
It also says the program will ensure the animals are not abused in a way that would harm the welfare of other animals.
It’s a complicated program that requires people to fill out forms and provide paperwork, and has been in place since 2006.
The animals will be housed in the Canadian Animal Health and Veterinary Services, a government-owned facility that has a veterinary facility in Winnipeg.
It has been operating since 2003.
The minister said the new plan will be in place by the end of 2018.