Ontario considers stronger trespassing protection for farmers
*pictured above - Chair Ed Benjamins, and President & CEO Rob Dougans, appear on behalf of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, during a virtual public hearing held by Ontario’s Standing Committee on General Government to discuss Bill 156.
TORONTO, ON – June 9, 2020 –
Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) participated in public hearings held by the Ontario legislature’s Standing Committee on General Government, as part of their consideration of Bill 156: Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020.
If passed, this new legislation will better protect Ontario livestock farmers, including CFO’s 1,300 family-run farms, from the threat of activist trespassers and the risks that trespassing poses to the safety and well-being of families, businesses, and livestock animals.
“Trespassing for any reason, including animal activism, puts the safety and well-being of our birds, businesses, our families, and our employees at risk,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “Our farms are places of business, but they are also our homes. Our farms are where Ontario chicken farmers raise their families and play with their children. Existing laws have not been enough to protect our farms and our homes from the risk of invasion.”
Disturbing trends have increased the risk of unwanted trespassers illegally entering property, barns and buildings, seizing private property and threatening the health and safety of farmers, families, employees, and livestock.
“Our priority is protecting food security, protecting our farmers, and protecting the health and welfare of animals,” said Rob Dougans, President & CEO of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “Ontario chicken farmers follow high standards of animal care. Those standards of care include biosecurity protocols designed to protect animals from disease. Anyone entering barns or farms, handling animals or moving between barns without following proper biosecurity protocols puts the health of animals, the safety of food and the livelihood of farmers at risk.”
The Standing Committee on General Government held public hearings over two days as part of their deliberations. CFO was pleased to be able to present and take questions from members of the committee.
“We care about our birds, and we care about raising safe, healthy, high quality chicken for Ontario consumers,” said Ed Benjamins, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “This new legislation, if passed, would finally allow farmers to operate their businesses without the fear of trespassers threatening their farm animals, families and way of life, without legal repercussions.”
for more information on Bill 156: Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020.