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Death of Dogs from Ukraine a Concern for All

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4 minute read

MEDIA RELEASE

Death of Dogs from Ukraine a Concern for All

June 24, 2020

The Alberta SPCA was saddened to learn dozens of puppies died while on route to Canada from Ukraine as part of a shipment of approximately 500 dogs last week, and we are pleased to hear an investigation is underway to determine what happened and to ensure a tragedy like this is not repeated. While is it unclear whether any of the dogs were destined for Alberta, we know small breed dogs are always in demand in our province and that dogs are brought into Alberta regularly for the purpose of selling them to local families.

The situation with the flight from Ukraine highlights the seedy side of dog breeding. These dogs were shipped to Canada because they are in demand here and families are willing to pay thousands of dollars for one. The value of the animals creates an environment where the health of dogs can be put at risk during long journeys to our country and our province, not to mention the unclear circumstances of how they were bred and raised before coming to Canada.

The Alberta SPCA encourages anyone looking to add a canine member to their family to do their homework and ask plenty of questions about the animal’s history. Any reputable breeder in Alberta will be willing to let you see the puppy in its home environment here, and allow you to meet the mother. If a breeder insists on meeting you in a neutral location to complete the transaction, this should be considered a red flag. It is up to all Albertans to limit animal neglect by not buying from groups or people who cannot prove the animal has been raised and treated humanely prior to adoption. It is likely the dogs on the flight would be sold as dogs rescued from Ukraine, but the sheer number of dogs indicates this was a breeding operation not a rescue mission.

It is also important to note there are lots of dogs in Alberta that need homes. When adopting any dog, we strongly encourage families to ask questions about the animals being adopted from any organization. There are dozens of groups who do great work to help find homes for pets in our province, but the industry is unregulated and there is nothing preventing any person or group from describing themselves as a “rescue.” All groups should be willing to share with you the history of the animals they are trying to find homes for. A quick search on the internet will help prospective owners determine if others have had poor experiences dealing with the organization they are considering adopting from.

And lastly, the Alberta SPCA supports any effort to strengthen the regulations and oversight of the importation of companion animals into Canada. The importation of dogs from other countries carries a risk of spreading diseases to both dogs and humans, not to mention the risk to the health of the dogs while in transport to Canada. While we appreciate the efforts of any group trying to help neglected animals in other parts of the world, our country needs to ensure we are not the end destination for dogs raised by unscrupulous breeders in other countries.

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Alberta

Infant formula crisis another symptom of North American 'managed trade,' experts say

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WASHINGTON — The White House says it is treating the shortage of infant formula as a top priority — a crisis experts say is one more symptom of North America’s new era of “managed trade.”

And there is growing concern that Canada could be side-swiped by the rush to action in the United States. 

Over the weekend, military transports ferried more than 35,000 kilograms of prescription-grade formula into the U.S. from Europe, with more shipments on the way. 

And President Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act, a 1950s-era military procurement law, to ensure U.S. manufacturers can get the necessary raw materials to ramp up production. 

The shortage was triggered by the shutdown in February of a key plant in Michigan, but international trade experts say the real issue is that the U.S. industry is controlled by only a handful of major players.

Brian Deese, director of the White House National Economic Council, says too few U.S. companies wield too much control over the supply chain. 

“Right now, our focus is on getting that formula out to the families that need it,” Deese told CNN on Monday. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is monitoring the situation closely for fear that the U.S. efforts could end up making the shortage in Canada even worse. 

“We need to make sure that we’re looking for solutions here in Canada,” Trudeau said last week. 

Canada’s largest formula manufacturing plant is the Chinese-owned Canada Royal Milk facility in Kingston, Ont., but 100 per cent of its output is exported for domestic sale in China. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Farms in B.C. and Alberta latest to have confirmed outbreaks of avian influenza

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VANCOUVER — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed two more outbreaks of avian influenza in small flocks — one in southern British Columbia and the other in southeastern Alberta.

A statement from the agency says the H5N1 strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza was identified Saturday in the flock in Cypress County, Alta., and on Sunday among birds in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen in B.C.

The B.C. case came one day after 4,000 turkeys on a Fraser Valley farm were due to be euthanized as avian flu was verified last week on two commercial poultry farms in B.C.’s poultry producing hub of Abbotsford.

Data from the food inspection agency shows the outbreak is the 12th recorded in B.C. since the province’s first case on April 13.

The infection in Cypress County, near Medicine Hat, is the 29th in Alberta but the first in more than a week.

The agency warns that the so-called bird flu is spreading globally and outbreaks have been confirmed in every province except Prince Edward Island.

However, only B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec have recorded new cases in May.

Poultry owners are being advised to use strict infection control measures and to take precautions to keep their flocks separate, secure and unable to mix with wild birds, which are believed to be carrying the virus.

A wildlife centre in central Alberta said last week that it was caring for four young foxes that likely picked up avian flu after eating carcasses of birds that died of the illness, and there was concern more scavengers could become ill.

The food inspection agency said no human cases of avian flu have been detected.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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