Transcript: Who's Minding the Farm Animals | Feb 01, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and gray plaid tie.

A caption on screen reads "Who's minding the farm animals? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says LAST WEEK WE HAD A
DISCUSSION ABOUT THE POLICING
POWERS OF THE ONTARIO SPCA.
IT GOT QUITE A REACTION,
ESPECIALLY ON SOCIAL MEDIA WHERE
THE CONVERSATION TOOK ON A LIFE
OF ITS OWN.
SPECIFICALLY COMMENTS MADE BY
ONE OF THE GUESTS ABOUT
LIVESTOCK GOT PEOPLE TALKING.
SO WE THOUGHT IT WAS WORTH
HAVING A FOLLOW-UP CONVERSATION.
JOINING US NOW FOR THAT, IN THE
NATION'S CAPITAL, CAMILLE
LABCHUK, LAWYER AND EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR FOR THE ANIMAL RIGHTS
GROUP ANIMAL JUSTICE.

Camille is in her twenties, with long wavy blond hair. She's wearing a red shirt.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO, BONNIE DEN HAAN, DAIRY FARMER WHO RUNS
HAANVIEW FARMS.
SHE'S ALSO A BOARD MEMBER OF
DAIRY FARMERS OF ONTARIO.

Bonnie is in her fifties, with short gray hair. She's wearing glasses, a burgundy blazer over a white shirt, and a stone necklace.

Steve continues BONNIE, IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU ON
THE PROGRAM FOR THE FIRST TIME.
CAMILLE, WELCOME BACK.

Bonnie says GOOD TO BE HERE.

Steve says YOU GOT ALL THIS
STARTED, WE SHOULD SAY.
WHY SHOULD WE SAY IT? WHY DON'T
WE LET YOU HAVE THE WORD ON
THIS. HERE'S WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY
WHEN YOU WERE LAST ON THIS
PROGRAM NOT TOO LONG AGO.
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD...

A clip plays on screen with the caption "January 24, 2019. Camille Labchuk. Animal Justice."
In the clip, Camille talks in the studio.

She says THERE'S THE ISSUE OF
ENFORCEMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE.
RIGHT NOW ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS ON
FARMS IS COMPLAINT-BASED.
THAT'S BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE
PROACTIVE INSPECTIONS, AND THE
REASON WE DON'T HAVE PROACTIVE
REGULAR INSPECTIONS OF FARMS IS
BECAUSE THERE ARE NO LAWS.
THERE'S NO STANDARDS, NO
REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE LIVES
OF ANIMALS ON FARMS, FROM THE
MINUTE THAT THEY'RE BORN TO THE
DAY THAT THEY'RE SHIPPED FOR TRANSPORT.

The clip ends.

Steve says OKAY, THAT PROVOKED
QUITE A FIRE STORM ON TWITTER,
AND HERE ARE SOME OF THE TWEETS
THAT FOLLOWED.
CAMILLE, YOU FOLLOWED UP WITH...

A tweet by Camille appears on screen. It reads "There are no regulations or laws setting out animal welfare standards for farms. The industry makes up its own rules."

Steve says TO WHICH WE GOT SOME RESPONSE.
HERE'S CATHERINE AGAR...

A tweet by Catherine Agar reads "I love @TheAgenda, it is known for balanced and insightful discussion. However, this episode was a huge miss and I'm questioning the vetting process for guests. @spaikin you need to make this right."

Steve says KATHERYN UNDERWOOD FOLLOWED UP...

A tweet by Kathryn Underwood reads "You honestly think the general public knows what's best for animals?! The separation between rural and urban populations is growing. Caring for your pet is different than caring for cows, chickens or pigs! The general public has no idea what a cow needs for a healthy lifestyle."

Steve says AND THEN CAME TESSA...

A tweet by a user called "Tessa" reads "Codes of practice are not laws. But they are highly enforced and the programs have the ability to shut down the farm. You said there are no regulations, standards or laws yet there are all three. Pet owners only have to abide by abuse laws but farms are held to higher standards."

Steve says AND THEN BERNIE KAMPHOF CAME IN...

A tweet by Bernie Kamphof reads "Hey Camille, thanks for being honest with us finally and letting your true colors show. If your wanted all animal agriculture to cease to exist why didn't you just say so earlier?"

Steve says OKAY, THAT IS ONLY A MINOR
FRACTION OF SOME OF THE FEEDBACK
THAT WE GOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA, SO
CAMILLE WHY DON'T WE START WITH
YOU AND HAVE YOU JUST SORT OF
AMPLIFY ON YOUR ORIGINAL
THOUGHTS THAT PROMPTED SO MUCH
RESPONSE, THE NOTION THAT THERE
ARE NO LAWS GOVERNING THE CARE
OF FARM ANIMALS.
FOLLOW UP, IF YOU WOULD.

The caption changes to "Camille Labchuk. Animal Justice."
Then, it changes again to "Laws, regulations and rules."

Camille says WELL, I THINK THE GENERAL
PUBLIC DOESN'T REALLY UNDERSTAND
THAT THERE AREN'T LAWS
PROTECTING ANIMAL WELFARE ON FARMS.
SO THERE AREN'T PROACTIVE
STANDARDS THAT SET OUT THINGS
LIKE SPACE REQUIREMENTS, FOR INSTANCE.
THE ONLY LAWS THAT DO APPLY ARE
GENERAL ANIMAL CRUELTY LAWS
WHICH KICK IN AFTER EGREGIOUS
CASES OF ABUSE, FOR SURE.
BUT I WAS SURPRISED BY THE
REACTION FROM FARMERS BECAUSE IT
SEEMED LIKE MANY OF THEM DIDN'T
UNDERSTAND EITHER THAT THERE ARE
NO PROACTIVE ANIMAL WELFARE
REGULATIONS ON FARMS.
THE LAWS THAT WE DO HAVE KICK IN
WHEN ANIMALS ARE TRANSPORTED TO
THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE AND WHEN THEY
ARE SLAUGHTERED THEMSELVES, BUT
FROM WHEN THEY'RE BORN UNTIL
THEY'RE TRANSPORTED, THERE'S NO
COMPREHENSIVE LEGAL STANDARDS
AND REGULATIONS FOR HOW THEY
SHOULD BE TREATED, AND I THINK
THAT THAT'S INAPPROPRIATE IN
THIS MODERN AGE.

Steve says BONNIE, WHAT'S YOUR
RESPONSE TO THAT?

The caption changes to "Bonnie Den Haan. Haanview Farms."

Bonnie says WELL, ACTUALLY, THERE'S THREE
LAYERS OF REGULATIONS AND RULES
ON THE FARM, AND THE FIRST ONE
IS THE O SPCA, AND THEY HAVE THE
AUTHORITY TO ENTER AND INSPECT
AND ACTUALLY SEIZE THE ANIMALS
IF THEY FEAR THAT THE ANIMALS
ARE IN HARM.
THEN THEY CAN LAY CHARGES, AND
ONCE CHARGES ARE LAID, OR EVEN
WHEN THE OSPCA COMES IN FOR AN
INSPECTION, THERE'S AN MOU WITH
THE DAIRY FARMERS OF ONTARIO,
AND JUST ABOUT EVERY OTHER FARM
ANIMAL COMMODITY GROUP, TO CALL
THEM IN FOR THE INSPECTION AS
WELL.
JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE
EXPERTISE ON WHAT THE ANIMALS'
CARE SHOULD BE AND HOW THEY
SHOULD LOOK.

Steve says YOU SAID THERE ARE
THREE LAYERS.
SO THAT'S ONE.

Bonnie says YES, THAT'S ONE LAYER, AND IF THEY ARE CHARGED IT GOES UNDER
THE CRIMINAL CODE OF CANADA.
THAT'S THE SECOND LAYER.
THAT'S FEDERAL.
AND THE THIRD LAYER IS THE DAIRY
FARMERS HAVE A PRO-ACTION
PROGRAM, WHICH IS QUALITY
ASSURANCE.
THAT'S EXACTLY AS YOU MENTION.
THEY HAVE SPACE REQUIREMENTS,
WATER REQUIREMENTS, WATER
SPACING, FEEDING REQUIREMENTS,
AND BEDDING, AND THEY HAVE ALL
THESE REQUIREMENTS THAT YOU HAVE
TO MEET.
OSPCA, THEY'RE NOT WIDESPREAD
ACROSS ONTARIO.
THERE'S LOTS OF POCKETS OF
ONTARIO THAT OSPCA IS NOT
AVAILABLE TO.
AND YET WE HAVE DAIRY FARMERS OF
ONTARIO HAVE FIELD SERVICE STAFF
THAT ENTER THE FARMS EVERY TWO
YEARS UNANNOUNCED.

Steve says UNANNOUNCED MEANING NO
HEADS UP?

Bonnie says NO HEADS UP THEY'RE COMING.
95 percent OF THE ONTARIO DAIRY FARMS
HAVE BEEN VISITED IN THE LAST
TWO YEARS.

Steve says LET'S GET CAMILLE'S
FEEDBACK ON THAT.
GO AHEAD, CAMILLE.

Camille says BONNIE, YOU MENTIONED THE
OSPCA ACT AND OSPCA INSPECTORS.
THE OSPCA ACT HAS GENERAL
PROHIBITIONS AGAINST ABUSING
ANIMALS, SO THOSE ONLY KICK IN
AFTER AN EGREGIOUS CASE OF ABUSE.
IT'S NOT LIKE THEY SET OUT
STANDARDS FOR THE WELL-BEING OF
FARMED ANIMALS.
AND IN FACT, THERE'S EXPLICIT
EXEMPTIONS IN THE OSPCA ACT THAT
EXEMPT GENERALLY-ACCEPTED
FARMING PRACTICES FROM THOSE
CRUELTY PROVISIONS.
SO THAT'S CERTAINLY NOT ANYWHERE
NEAR SUFFICIENT TO ENSURE ANIMAL
WELFARE.
AND THEN THE PRO-ACTION PROGRAM
THAT YOU BRING UP, OF COURSE, IS
AN INDUSTRY SELF-ASSESSMENT
TOOL.
IT'S NOT A LAW.
IT'S SOMETHING CREATED FOR
FARMERS BY THE FARM INDUSTRY.
14 OUT OF 15 VOTING MEMBERS THAT
CREATED THAT ARE DAIRY FARMERS
THEMSELVES.
AND I DON'T TRUST THE INDUSTRY
TO POLICE ITSELF.
IT IS LITERALLY THE FOX GUARDING
THE HENHOUSE.
I DON'T THINK THAT INSPECTIONS
EVERY TWO YEARS OR SOMETHING IS
SUFFICIENT TO ENSURE THE
WELL-BEING OF ANIMALS ON FARMS,
AND THE PRACTICES THAT THAT CODE
OF PRACTICE AND THAT THE
PRO-ACTION PROGRAM ALLOWS FOR
ARE STILL, FRANKLY, EGREGIOUS.
THINGS LIKE SEPARATING BABY
CALVES FROM THEIR MOTHERS WITHIN
MOMENTS OF BIRTH.
A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T APPRECIATE
THAT TO PRODUCE MILK YOU HAVE TO
CONSTANTLY IMPREGNATE COWS
BECAUSE THEY ONLY PRODUCE MILK
WHEN THEY'RE LACTATING AFTER
BIRTH SO MOTHERS AND BABIES ARE
SEPARATED.
WHEN COWS AND THEIR BODIES GIVE
OUT AFTER YEARS OF MILK
PRODUCTION, IT'S ONLY A COUPLE
OF YEARS, ACTUALLY, WHEN THEIR
PRODUCTIVITY STARTS TO DECLINE,
THEY ARE SENT TO SLAUGHTERHOUSES
TO BECOME HAMBURGER MEAT.
EVEN THE STANDARDS THAT DO EXIST
BY THE INDUSTRY'S OWN STANDARDS
ARE SIMPLY NOT SUFFICIENT.
WE NEED STRONG GOVERNMENT LAWS
AND GOVERNMENT INSPECTION.

Steve says OKAY.
LET'S... A LOT TO UNPACK THERE.
HOW ABOUT THE FOX GUARDING THE
HENHOUSE KIND OF THING.

The caption changes to "Bonnie Den Haan. Dairy Farmers of Ontario."

Bonnie says YES, BE CAREFUL WHO IS
GUARDING THE FOX.
THE DAIRY FARMERS PRO-ACTION
PROGRAM IS BUILT ON THE CODE OF
PRACTICES AND BEST MANAGEMENT
PRACTICES, AND I DON'T KNOW IF
YOU'RE FAMILIAR WITH THE
NATIONAL FARM ANIMAL CARE
COUNCIL.
THEY'RE MADE UP OF PROCESSORS,
PRODUCERS, RESEARCHERS,
RETAILERS, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
AND THE WORLD ANIMAL PROTECTION
ORGANIZATION EVEN HAS SOME INPUT
INTO THAT.
AND THAT'S WHAT PRO-ACTION IS
BUILT ON.
IT'S NOT BUILT ON THE WHIM OF 15
DAIRY FARMERS SELF-GOVERNING
THEMSELVES.
THIS IS BASED ON SCIENCE.

Steve says BONNIE, DO YOU KNOW IF
THERE ARE ANIMAL CRUELTY
PROBLEMS ON FARMS IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO?

The caption changes to "Bonnie Den Haan, @DairyOntario."

Bonnie says THERE'S BAD TEACHERS.
THERE'S BAD LAWYERS.
THERE'S BAD DOCTORS, AND
CERTAINLY THERE'S PROBABLY BAD
FARMERS.
BUT THE SYSTEM DOESN'T ALLOW
THEM TO EXIST.
SO THEY... IF THERE'S A BAD
FARMER OUT THERE, OUR SYSTEM IS
IN PLACE THAT WE CAN IDENTIFY
THOSE FARMS AND IDENTIFY THE
PROBLEMS, AND WE CAN SHUT THEM
DOWN.
LIKE, WE WON'T PICK UP THEIR
MILK.
NO ONE WANTS TO DRINK MILK FROM
AN ABUSED COW, SO WE DO NOT PICK
UP THEIR MILK IF THERE IS A SIGN
OF ABUSE ON THE FARM.
IT IS CANCELLED.
AND THAT MORE OR LESS SHUTS THAT
FARM DOWN BECAUSE THEY CAN'T PAY
THEIR BILLS.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says CAMILLE, EVEN IF THE
KINDS OF REGULATIONS, LEGAL,
WITH TEETH, THAT YOU SAY ARE NOT
IN PLACE, EVEN IN THE ABSENCE OF
THOSE REGULATIONS, DO YOU HAVE
EVIDENCE THAT THERE IS, IN FACT,
ABUSE GOING ON ON FARMS IN THE
PROVINCE?

The caption changes to "Camille Labchuk, @CamilleLabchuk."

Camille says WELL, ABSOLUTELY WE KNOW THAT THERE IS SERIOUS ANIMAL WELFARE
PROBLEMS ON FARMS.
SO DAIRY FARMERS OF ONTARIO, IT
DOESN'T RELEASE THE ASSESSMENT
REPORTS, IT DOESN'T RELEASE
NUMBERS, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, ON ANY
KIND OF FARMS THAT HAVE BEEN
SHUT DOWN OR THEIR MILK HAS NOT
BEEN PICKED UP.
WE DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT
THAT PROCESS, BUT WE DO KNOW A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE BRITISH
COLUMBIA SYSTEM BECAUSE SOME
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS
REVEALED THIS INFORMATION.
WHEN THEY... SELF-ASSESSMENT
PROCESS IN 2014, OVER A QUARTER
OF FARMS WERE FOUND TO BE OUT OF
COMPLIANCE, EVEN WITH THE
INDUSTRY'S OWN VERY, VERY WEAK
RULES.
AND THESE ARE THINGS LIKE
SEVERELY OVERCROWDING COWS, NOT
PROVIDING ENOUGH BEDDING, HAVING
COWS, HERDS WHERE MANY COWS WERE
LAME OR HAD VERY SERIOUS LEG OR
KNEE INJURIES.
AND THOSE SIMPLY... THOSE THINGS
ARE SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Steve says OKAY, BUT THE
ASSUMPTION...

[INDISCERNIBLE].

Steve says SURE, IF IT'S THAT WAY
IN BRITISH COLUMBIA YOU'RE SORT
OF INFERRING THAT WE PROBABLY
HAVE A SIMILAR PROBLEM IN
SIMILAR PROPORTIONS OF THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO, BUT THAT'S
NOT PROOF.
DO YOU HAVE PROOF?

Camille says WELL, THERE'S NO WAY FOR
CITIZENS TO OBTAIN THAT
EVIDENCE, STEVE, AND THAT'S PART
OF THE PROBLEM.
IF WE HAD A STRONG GOVERNMENT
INSPECTION SYSTEM, WHAT WE WOULD
HAVE IS LAWS AND STANDARDS THAT
SET OUT HOW ANIMALS MUST BE
TREATED, AND WE'D HAVE
INSPECTORS WHO GO ON TO THOSE
FARMS AND PRODUCE PUBLIC REPORTS
THAT THE PUBLIC CAN ACCESS.
SO THE AREAS WHERE WE DO
REGULATE ANIMALS, TRANSPORT AND
SLAUGHTER, I CAN ACTUALLY GET
THOSE INSPECTION REPORTS SO I
KNOW IF A SLAUGHTERHOUSE HAS A
PROBLEM.
BUT I CAN'T DO THAT FOR FARMS,
AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S
APPROPRIATE.

Steve says BONNIE, DO YOU HAVE A
TRANSPARENCY PROBLEM?

Bonnie says FARMS ARE NOT... BEHIND
CLOSED DOORS.
WE HAVE OPEN HOUSES CONSTANTLY.
THERE'S BREAKFAST ON THE FARM IS
OFFERED TWICE A YEAR THROUGHOUT
ONTARIO.
CHRISTMAS ON THE FARM IS OFFERED
AT A FARM DOWN BY ANCASTER.
THERE ARE NUMEROUS DAYS ON THE
FARM.
DINNER ON THE FARM DOWN IN
NIAGARA.
THERE ARE SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES,
CAMILLE, FOR YOU TO GET OUT AND
FIND OUT WHAT DAIRY FARMING IS
ALL ABOUT.
YOU PAINTED A VERY BLEAK PICTURE
THERE, BUT IT'S NOT LIKE THAT ON
THE FARM.
I LIVE AND BREATHE THIS EVERY
DAY.
I LOVE MY ANIMALS.
THERE'S NOTHING MORE CONTENT
THAN TO GO TO THE BARN IN THE
MORNING AND SEE YOUR COWS LYING
ON SAND BEDDING, VERY CLEAN.
CALVES BEING BORN ON A NICE
STRAW PACK IN A GREAT
ENVIRONMENT.
THERE'S NOTHING MORE SATISFYING
THAN THAT, AND YOU'VE PAINTED A
VERY BLEAK PICTURE OF THE DAIRY
INDUSTRY, AND IT'S NOT LIKE THAT
AT ALL. I LIVE THIS.

Steve says LET ME READ A TWEET
HERE FROM JOANNA WALLACE, AGAIN
ONE OF THE MANY, MANY... I DON'T
KNOW IF IT WAS HUNDREDS, BUT IT
WAS CERTAINLY DOZENS OF TWEETS
THAT WE GOT IN REACTION TO THIS.
HERE'S JOANNA WALLACE...

A tweet by Joanna Wallace reads "In addition to the DFO regulations we must adhere to, most dairy and other livestock farms have regular vet visits. In our case, a vet walks through our herd every two weeks. Animal welfare is paramount."

Steve says CAMILLE, IS THAT HELPFUL?

Camille says YOU KNOW, I THINK IF DAIRY
FARMERS AND OTHER INDUSTRIES TOO
ARE SO PROUD OF THESE
INSPECTIONS, THEY SHOULD MAKE
THOSE REPORTS PUBLIC, AND THEY
SHOULD ADVOCATE FOR THE
GOVERNMENT TO ACTUALLY IMPOSE
LAWS ON THEIR INDUSTRY.
IF THERE'S NOTHING TO HIDE, THEN
THERE'S NOTHING TO HIDE.
BUT THE REALITY IS THAT ANIMALS
ARE KEPT BEHIND CLOSED DOORS ON FARMS.
MAYBE DAIRY FARMS SOMETIMES HAVE
VERY CONTROLLED OPEN HOUSES, BUT
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT BONNIE
THINKS ABOUT CHICKEN WAREHOUSES
WHERE CHICKENS ARE STACKED ON
TOP OF EACH OTHER IN TINY WIRE
BATTERY CAGES, THOUSANDS OF THEM
IN THERE.
PIG BARNS WHERE PIGS ARE KEPT IN
TINY CRATES WHILE THEY ARE
GIVING BIRTH AND WHILE THEY ARE
FEEDING THEIR BABIES IN FILTHY
CONDITIONS.
YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK THAT'S
SOMETHING THE PUBLIC HAS ACCESS TO.
AND THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE
OVERSEEING THOSE CONDITIONS.
RIGHT NOW THEY'RE NOT.

Steve says WELL, BONNIE IS NOT A
CHICKEN FARMER, BUT IF YOU WANT
TO COMMENT ON THAT.

Bonnie says MANY OF MY FRIENDS ARE
CHICKEN FARMERS, AND THEY CARE
FOR THEIR ANIMALS JUST AS MUCH
AS I DO FOR MINE.
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT PIGS GIVING
BIRTH IN SMALL CRATES, I REALLY
THINK YOU NEED TO GET OUT TO THE
FARM AND VISIT SOME FARMS.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU GO OUT... IF
YOU MAKE AN EFFORT TO COME OUT
AND SEE A CHICKEN FARM AND A PIG
FARM AND WALK IN THE DOOR, YOU
WILL BE ALLOWED TO WALK IN THE
DOOR AND FIND OUT.
LIKE, IT... I THINK THE PICTURES
THAT YOU'RE DRAWING ARE SORT OF
IMAGINARY.
THEY'RE NOT REALLY WHAT'S
HAPPENING ON THE FARM, AND I
SAID WE HAD THREE LEVELS OF
INSPECTION.
WE ACTUALLY HAVE FOUR BECAUSE WE
HAVE THE VET.
WE HAVE THE FEED SALESMAN.
WE HAVE THE SEED SALESMAN.
WE HAVE THE NEIGHBOURS.
WE HAVE OUR GRANDCHILDREN.
LIKE, WE LIVE IN OUR BARN.
WE EAT BREAKFAST IN OUR BARN
EVERY MORNING.
SO IT'S... IF SOMEONE DRIVES UP
THE LANE AND WANTS TO COME AND
TALK TO US, THEY'RE GOING TO
HAVE TO COME TO OUR BARN.
AND WHEN WE'RE IN OUR BARN,
THEY'RE LOOKING AT OUR COWS.

Steve says OKAY, BUT IF
SOMEBODY'S TRYING TO SELL YOU
FEED, THEY'RE NOT LIKELY TO BLOW
THE WHISTLE ON YOU, ARE THEY?

Bonnie says CERTAINLY THEY ARE, THAT'S
PART OF THEIR RESPONSIBILITY.
AND A VETERINARIAN, THEY SIGN ON
THAT THEY ARE GOING TO LOOK OUT
FOR ANIMAL WELFARE WHEN THEY
BECOME A VETERINARIAN.

Steve says CAMILLE, PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO WANT ME TO ASK YOU:
WHEN'S THE LAST TIME YOU WERE ON
A FARM?

Camille says I GREW UP IN RURAL P.E.I. AND I WAS ON MANY FARMS IN MY LIFE.
THE REALITY IS THAT FARMERS
DON'T WANT PEOPLE ON THEIR FARMS
THESE DAYS.
THE ONLY WAY THAT THE PUBLIC HAS
TO EFFECTIVELY OVERVIEW WHAT'S
HAPPENING IS UNDERCOVER
INVESTIGATIONS WHERE SOMEONE
GOES, GETS A JOB ON A FARM,
WORKS THERE, AND IS THEN ABLE TO
OBSERVE CONSISTENTLY DAY AFTER
DAY WEEK AFTER WEEK THE
CONDITIONS.
AND WHAT WE'VE SEEN FROM THOSE
INVESTIGATIONS IS VERY
TROUBLING.
THERE'S ONLY BEEN ONE OF A DAIRY
FARM.
THAT WAS IN CHILLIWACK, BRITISH
COLUMBIA.
THERE WERE NINE CONVICTIONS
PENDING FROM THAT INVESTIGATION
FOR WORKERS WHO BEAT COWS WITH
METAL RODS AND PIPES, WHO STRUNG
COWS UP WITH CHAINS AROUND THEIR
NECK ON FORKLIFTS, AND WHO LEFT
COWS WITH OPEN FESTERING WOUNDS.
INVESTIGATIONS IN ONTARIO OF
CHICKEN FARMS HAVE REVEALED
CHICKENS STUFFED IN BATTERY EGG
CAGES DEAD AND DYING MISSING ALL
OF THEIR FEATHERS AND SOMETIMES
STUCK IN MANURE PITS BELOW THE
CAGES.
I DON'T BELIEVE THIS IS
SOMETHING THAT THE FARMING
INDUSTRY WANTS TO SEE, AND I
DON'T THINK THAT THIS MODEL OF
THE FOX GUARDING THE HENHOUSE IS
WORKING.

Steve says OKAY, BONNIE, JUST
LET'S FOR THE RECORD SAY ANY OF
THOSE THINGS, YOU DO ANY OF
THOSE THINGS TO YOUR COWS?

Bonnie says NO, NONE OF THEM.
AND IT'S NOT... YOU HAVEN'T
MENTIONED A CASE IN ONTARIO, AND
THERE HASN'T BEEN ASSAULT LIKE
THAT ON OR ANIMAL WELFARE ISSUES
LIKE THAT IN ONTARIO.

Steve says WHERE'S HAANVIEW FARMS?

Bonnie says JUST BY ALISTON, ABOUT AN
HOUR NORTH OF HERE.

Steve says HOW MANY COWS DO YOU GOT?

Bonnie says WE MILK 70 COWS IN A
VOLUNTARY MILKING SYSTEM.
SAND BEDDING, VOLUNTARY FEEDING.
FAMILY FARM, THIRD GENERATION.

Steve says YOU ARE THIRD
GENERATION?
YOU HAVE KIDS?
ARE THEY INTO IT?

Bonnie says YES, WE HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS
AND A SON THAT'S FARMING AND OUR
OLDEST SON IS A HOOF TRIMMER,
DOES PEDICURES FOR COWS.

Steve says WHAT KIND OF PENALTIES
WOULD YOU BE SUBJECTED TO IF IT
WERE DISCOVERED THAT YOU WEREN'T
PLAYING BY THE RULES?

Bonnie says WE SHOULD BE SHUT OFF.

Steve says BY WHOM?

Bonnie says BY DAIRY FARMERS OF ONTARIO.
THAT MEANS THE MILK TRUCK WOULD
NOT PICK UP THE MILK.
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU... IF
YOU'RE NOT GRADE A.
SO GRADE A IS THAT YOU'VE MET
ALL THE STANDARDS.
YOUR BEDDING PACK IS BIG ENOUGH,
YOUR STALLS ARE THE RIGHT SIZE,
YOU HAVE ENOUGH WATER CAPACITY,
YOU HAVE FEEDING SPACE FOR YOUR
COWS.
AND YOUR QUALITY ISSUES ON YOUR
COWS.
IF YOUR COWS ARE LIVING IN
SQUALOR AND BEING TREATED THE
WAY YOU TALKED, YOU'D HAVE
SEVERE QUALITY ISSUES, AND IN
ONTARIO WE DON'T HAVE SEVERE
QUALITY ISSUES.

Steve says SO LET ME ASK CAMILLE
THIS, THEN.
CAMILLE, IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY WITH
THE CURRENT KIND OF OVERSIGHT
THAT WE HAVE IN THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO, WHO SHOULD BE ENFORCING
ANIMAL WELFARE RIGHTS?

Camille says WELL, THERE SHOULD BE LAWS.
THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD CREATE
LAWS, AND THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD
BE IN CHARGE OF ENFORCING THOSE LAWS.
SO THERE'S VOLUNTARY INDUSTRY
PROCESS WHERE THE INDUSTRY COMES
UP WITH ITS OWN CODES, IN MY
VIEW THAT'S SOMETHING THAT
THEY'VE DONE TO AVOID BEING
REGULATED, WHICH IS COMMON WHEN
INDUSTRIES DON'T WANT THE
GOVERNMENT TO STEP IN.
SO I THINK THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD
STEP IN.
IT SHOULD CREATE PUBLICLY
ENACTED LAWS THAT WE AS CITIZENS
CAN HAVE A SAY IN THE CREATION
OF.
AND THEN OF COURSE THE
GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE THE ONE
INSPECTING WITH REGULAR
RANDOMIZED INSPECTIONS, AND
INSPECTION REPORTS THAT ARE
PUBLICLY AVAILABLE.
THAT'S THE ONLY WAY FOR THE
PUBLIC TO HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT
THERE IS NOT UNTOWARD THINGS
HAPPENING ON CANADIAN FARMS.

Steve says OKAY, BUT EVEN AT THE
END OF THE DAY IF YOU WANTED TO
PUT THE GOVERNMENT IN CHARGE OF
THIS, THAT MEANS THE GOVERNMENT
HAS TO HIRE INSPECTORS, AND
SHORT OF THE GOVERNMENT HIRING
HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF
INSPECTORS, THEY'LL PROBABLY
HIRE A COUPLE OF DOZEN, JUST
GIVEN THE NATURE OF WHAT THEY'RE
ABLE TO DO, HOW MUCH OF A DENT
WOULD THAT ACTUALLY PUT IN THE PROBLEM?

Camille says WELL, THE REALITY IS THAT THE
PUBLIC IS ALREADY PAYING FOR THE
DAIRY FARM SELF-ASSESSMENTS.
WE HEAVILY SUBSIDIZE THE DAIRY
INDUSTRY IN THIS COUNTRY.
HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS
EVERY YEAR GO TO SUBSIDIZED
DAIRY FARMERS AND THEIR PRODUCT.
SO WHY DON'T WE REDIRECT THOSE
SUBSIDIES TOWARDS PUBLIC
INSPECTIONS?
IT STRIKES ME AS IRONIC THAT THE
DAIRY FARMERS ARE HAPPY TO
BENEFIT FROM THE PUBLIC PURSE
AND FROM PUBLIC SUBSIDIES BUT
THEY DON'T WANT PUBLIC
OVERSIGHT.

Steve says LET ME JUST MAKE SURE
I UNDERSTAND THAT.
WHEN YOU SAY PUBLIC SUBSIDIES
YOU MEAN SUPPLY MANAGEMENT?

Camille says SUPPLY MANAGEMENT.
THERE'S CONSTANTLY GRANTS BEING
GIVEN FOR EQUIPMENT UPGRADES,
RESEARCH, ALL KINDS OF OTHER
WAYS TO IMPROVE THE DAIRY
INDUSTRY, AND THAT MONEY COULD
BE REDIRECTED TOWARD OVERSIGHT.

Steve says BONNIE, DO YOU WANT TO
SPEAK TO THAT?

Bonnie says YEAH, NOT ONLY HAVE YOU NOT
BEEN ON A FARM, I THINK YOU NEED
TO GET EDUCATED ON THE ECONOMICS
OF ONTARIO AND CANADA DAIRY INDUSTRY.
WE ARE NOT SUBSIDIZED.
AND WE ARE... WE HAVE NOT BEEN
SUBSIDIZED, LIKE, FOREVER.
NOT ANYTHING IN COMPARISON TO
THE...

Steve says NO MORE THAN ANY OTHER
BUSINESS I GUESS IS WHAT YOU MEAN.
YOU GET TAX ADVANTAGES THAT
EVERY OTHER BUSINESS GETS.

Bonnie says RIGHT, YES.
BUT WE DO NOT GET SUBSIDIZED.
WE DO NOT... LIKE, WE... THE
INDUSTRY HAS INVESTED GREATLY,
BUT A LOT OF IT HAS BEEN OUT OF
OUR OWN POCKETS.

Steve says WELL, MAYBE WE'RE
QUIBBLING OVER WORDS HERE.
SUPPLY MANAGEMENT MAY NOT BE A
SUBSIDY, BUT IT'S...

Bonnie says THAT'S A DISCUSSION FOR
ANOTHER DAY.

Steve says IT DEFINITELY IS A
DIFFERENT ISSUE.

Camille says TODAY WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
RULES AND REGULATIONS.
AND YOU WANT A PROVINCIAL
ORGANIZATION OR POLICING OF THE
DAIRY FARM.
THEY ARE GOING TO BASE THEIR
AUTHORITY ON THE BEST MANAGEMENT
PRACTICES AND THE CODE OF
PRACTICE THAT THE NATIONAL FARM
ANIMAL COUNCIL... CARE COUNCIL
HAS COME UP WITH, AND THAT IS
PROCESSORS, PRODUCERS, VETS,
RESEARCHERS AND THE WORLD
ANIMAL.
THOSE ARE ALL OUTSIDE.
IT'S ALL BASED ON SCIENCE.
THE INSPECTORS AT DAIRY FARMERS
OF ONTARIO, THE FIELD SERVICE
REPS, ARE AUTHORIZED BY THE
ONTARIO FARM PRODUCTS MARKETING
COMMISSION, WHICH IS AN ARM OF
THE GOVERNMENT.
AND THE AUTHORITY TO RUN DAIRY
FARMERS OF ONTARIO AND THEIR
FIELD SERVICES REPS GOES BACK TO
THE GOVERNMENT.
SO IT IS...

Steve says I'VE GOT TO GIVE
CAMILLE A CHANCE TO RESPOND TO THAT.

Camille says WHAT BONNIE IS DESCRIBING IS A VERY INDUSTRY LED AND INDUSTRY
CREATED PROCESS.
THE CODES OF PRACTICE ARE
CREATED LARGELY BY THE INDUSTRY.
SURE, THERE'S SOME
REPRESENTATION FROM GOVERNMENT,
FROM SCIENTISTS, BUT THE CODES
OF PRACTICE ARE DESIGNED TO
PROTECT THE INDUSTRY, AND THEY
DISREGARD A LOT OF SCIENTIFIC
INFORMATION.
THEY STILL ALLOW FOR HORRIFIC
PRACTICES LIKE SEPARATING BABY
COWS FROM THEIR MOTHERS MOMENTS
AFTER BIRTH.
AND THESE INSPECTIONS ARE
ASSESSMENTS, REALLY, IS A BETTER
TERM FOR THEM, AGAIN, THEY ARE
DONE BY THE INDUSTRY, AND I JUST
DON'T HAVE CONFIDENCE, AND I
DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE PUBLIC
HAS CONFIDENCE, THAT THE
INDUSTRY IS THERE TO PROTECT THE
ANIMALS.
THE INDUSTRY IS THERE TO PROTECT
ITS PROFITS.

Steve says OKAY, LET ME GO BACK
TO TWITTER HERE FOR A SECOND,
BECAUSE, CAMILLE, IN THE MIDST
OF THE ON-LINE CONVERSATION THAT
YOU WERE HAVING WITH MANY OF OUR
VIEWERS, YOU HAD THIS TO SAY...

A tweet by Camille reads "There's nothing sustainable about animal agriculture, which is a leading cause of climate change. More efficient to feed grain to humans instead of cows for years before we slaughter and eat them."

Steve says AND THIS RAISED, YOU KNOW, A
NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ON TWITTER,
YOU KNOW, ABOUT THE FACT THAT
YOU'RE A VEGAN, RIGHT, CAMILLE?

Camille says ANIMAL LAWYERS DON'T EAT
THEIR CLIENTS.
THAT'S RIGHT.

The caption changes to "Good stewardship."

Steve says ANIMAL LAWYERS DON'T
EAT THEIR CLIENTS, OKAY.
SOME PEOPLE, OF COURSE, HAVE
MADE THE SUGGESTION THAT THIS
IS... THAT YOUR BROADER AGENDA
HERE IS, OF COURSE, TO GET US
ALL TO BE VEGANS.
IS THAT THE CASE?

Camille says I DON'T THINK THE FARMING
INDUSTRY IS GOING AWAY TOMORROW.
I THINK THAT'S KIND OF A
DISTRACTION FROM THE MAIN POINT
HERE.
THE POINT I WANTED TO MAKE ON
TWITTER IS THAT PEOPLE ARE
ABANDONING MEAT AND DAIRY
PRODUCTS AT INCREASING RATES AND
MOVING TOWARDS ALTERNATIVES THAT
ARE BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
AND OFTEN BETTER FOR HUMAN
HEALTH AS WELL.
I THINK IT'S REALLY INTERESTING
THAT LAST WEEK WHEN WE HAD THIS
DISCUSSION AND THE TWITTER FIGHT
WAS GOING ON, THE CANADA FOOD
GUIDE WAS REVISED AND RELEASED
THAT WEEK, AND IT ACTUALLY
COMPLETELY REMOVES THE DAIRY
CATEGORY FROM THE FOOD GUIDE,
AND IT LUMPS IT IN WITH JUST A
GENERAL PROTEIN CATEGORY AND
SAID THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE
EATING MORE PLANT-BASED PROTEINS
INSTEAD OF THE ANIMAL PROTEINS
THAT WE'RE USED TO EATING.
SO THERE'S A MOVE TOWARD DOING
THAT FOR HUMAN HEALTH.
UNITED NATIONS HAS SAID THAT 17 percent
OR MORE OF GLOBAL PLANETARY
EMISSIONS COMES FROM THE
LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY AND WE WON'T
MEET OUR CLIMATE TARGETS IF WE
CONTINUE TO RAISE LIVESTOCK AT
THESE LEVELS.
I THINK THAT'S ONE THING THAT'S
MOTIVATING PEOPLE TO SHIFT AWAY
FROM THESE PRODUCTS.

Steve says DO YOU, BONNIE, THINK
THAT THE REAL AGENDA HERE IS TO
GET EVERYBODY OFF MEAT AND DAIRY
AND JUST TURN US ALL INTO VEGANS?

Bonnie says THAT'S ANOTHER DAY.
WE COULD HAVE THAT DISCUSSION AT
DAY, BUT NO...

Steve says WELL, YOU'RE HERE
RIGHT NOW.

Bonnie says PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO MOVE
AWAY FROM THAT.
20 percent OF OUR FARMLAND IS NOT
CROPABLE.
WE PASTURE OUR COWS ON THERE,
AND THEY TURN GRASS INTO MILK.
LIKE MAGIC.
AND THAT'S AN ENVIRONMENTAL AND
EFFICIENT USE OF THAT LAND, AND
THAT'S WHAT OUR ECOSYSTEM IS ALL
ABOUT.
FOR US TO MOVE AWAY FROM ANIMAL
AGRICULTURE WOULD DISTURB THE
WHOLE ECOSYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY,
SO THAT'S AN ARGUMENT FOR
ANOTHER DAY, BUT WE COULD SPEND
ALL DAY ON THAT ONE.

Steve says WELL, LET'S TRY THIS
ONE MORE TWEET HERE FROM
SOMEBODY NAMED PAULA WHO GOES BY
THE TWITTER HANDLE "DAIRY
FARM-HER," REPLYING TO CAMILLE
AND OTHERS SHE TWEETED...

A tweet by a user named "Paula" reads "Don't forget that I'm a mom too that cares about the environment. It's also one of our top priorities on our farm. In fact, our carbon footprint, water consumption and land use associated with the production of a litre of milk have decreased significantly between 2011 and 2016."

Steve says CAMILLE, IS THAT CONSTRUCTIVE?

Camille says OH, I STILL THINK THAT MILK
IS FAR MORE WATER INTENSIVE AND
FAR MORE GREENHOUSE GAS
PRODUCING THAN THE ALTERNATIVE.
SO MILK PRODUCING COW'S MILK
TAKES ABOUT SIX TIMES AS MUCH
WATER AS PRODUCING A CUP OF
ALMOND MILK AND THREE TIMES AS
SOY MILK.
SO YOU CAN'T REALLY COMPARE
THOSE ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL
SCALE.
PLANT MILKS ARE JUST CLEARLY
BETTER ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL FRONT.

Steve says BONNIE, CLEARLY PAULA
BELIEVES THAT THE CHANGES THAT
SHE HAS MADE IN HER SITUATION
HAVE BEEN A CONSTRUCTIVE
CONTRIBUTION TO REDUCING CLIMATE
CHANGE.
HOW REFLECTIVE OF THE ENTIRE
PROVINCE IS HER SITUATION?

Bonnie says OH, YES, FOR SURE.
WE HAVE... OUR GREENHOUSE
EMISSIONS HAVE REDUCED
SIGNIFICANTLY AND WILL CONTINUE TO.
WE HAVE THREE BARNS ON OUR FARM.
WE HAVE THE BARN THAT'S 150
YEARS OLD, AND IF YOU WANT TO
TALK ABOUT ANIMAL CRUELTY, GO
BACK 150 YEARS WHEN BARNS WERE
CRAMMED FULL AND THE CEILING WAS
8 FEET HIGH AND THERE WAS NO
LIGHTING AND NO WINDOWS AND NO
VENTILATION SYSTEM.
40 YEARS AGO MY HUSBAND AND I
BUILT A NEW BARN, AND IT HAD
FLUORESCENT LIGHTING, A
VENTILATION SYSTEM.
IT HAD A MANURE SYSTEM IN IT.
THE COWS WERE REALLY
COMFORTABLE, AND WE WERE, LIKE,
TOP OF THE WORLD.
LAST FALL OUR DAUGHTER BUILT A
NEW BARN, AND IT'S A VOLUNTARY
MILKING BARN.
IT'S, LIKE, FIVE TIMES AS BIG AS
OUR OLD BARN FOR THE SAME AMOUNT
OF COWS.
AND THE ATMOSPHERE IN THERE AND
THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF IT AND
THE WATER EFFICIENCY OF WASHING
THE SYSTEMS AND EVERYTHING HAS
COME SO FAR.
SO FAR.

Steve says I GOT 20 SECONDS.
FORGIVE ME FOR JUMPING IN.
I DON'T MEAN TO MAKE TOO MUCH
MISCHIEF, MAYBE A LITTLE BIT OF
MISCHIEF, WHY DON'T YOU INVITE
HER TO YOUR FARM.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Bonnie says I'D LOVE TO.
WE HAVE A DAY ON THE FARM IN
JUNE ON FATHER'S DAY WEEKEND ON
THE SATURDAY.
IT'S CALLED SHELDON CREEK DAIRY.
WE ALSO BOTTLE OUR OWN MILK ON
THE FARM, AND I WOULD LOVE TO
GIVE YOU A PERSONAL TOUR AROUND
THE FARM.

Steve says CAMILLE, BONNIE IS
EXTENDING AN INVITATION. DO YOU
WANT TO TAKE HER UP ON IT?

Camille says HAPPILY, BONNIE, AND I HOPE
YOU'LL GET YOUR LARGE MASS
CHICKEN FARMER PRODUCER FRIENDS
TO LET ME INTO THEIR BARNS TOO,
BUT I'M DOUBTFUL.

The caption changes to "Producer: Sandra Gionas, @sandragionas."

Steve says WE'LL TAKE THAT LITTLE
MOMENT OF CONSENSUS WE HAD THERE
AND RUN WITH IT AND LET'S SEE
WHAT KIND OF FEEDBACK WE GET
FROM THIS PROGRAM.
CAMILLE LABCHUK FROM ANIMAL
JUSTICE, SHE'S A LAWYER AS WELL.
WE THANK YOU FOR BEING ON THE
LINE FOR US IN THE NATION'S
CAPITAL.
BONNIE DEN HAAN FROM HAANVIEW
FARMS, ALSO WITH THE DAIRY
FARMERS OF ONTARIO, WE REALLY
APPRECIATE YOU MAKING THE LONG
TREK INTO OUR STUDIO TONIGHT AS WELL.

Bonnie says THANK YOU.

Watch: Who's Minding the Farm Animals