650 million animals are slaughtered for food every year in Canada - over 1.5 million animals every day . While death may bring a welcome end to the suffering they have endured on the factory farm and during transport, the slaughter experience is horrific, with many animals being skinned and dismembered alive.
The meat packing industry in Canada has undergone many changes over the past 50 years. Automation and the pursuit of profits have caused increased line speeds resulting in millions of animals having their throats cut while still conscious. Slaughterhouses have the highest employee turnover rate in North America, resulting in inexperienced, low-paid workers, which further compromises the animalsâ€™ welfare.
Enforcement of the few laws that are supposed to protect animals in slaughterhouses is undertaken by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), a division of Agriculture Canada. Violations of these laws are routine; a 1999 audit of Canadian slaughterhouses reported that 23% of pigs regained sensibility after being electrically stunned at a provincially inspected facility.