Vancouver Animal Rights Campaigns (VARK)

Activists Uniting For The Benefit of Animals

Canada bans Lifelong Confinement for Pigs in Controversial Gestation Crates

Canada Bans Lifelong Confinement for Pigs in Controversial Gestation Crates

HSI/Canada hails the move as an historic achievement for farmed animal welfare in North America

MONTREAL—Humane Society International/Canada welcomes the release of the ground-breaking new pork industry Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs, which includes a ban on continuously confining pregnant sows in gestation crates. These cages confine sows so tightly the animals can’t even turn around, and are standard practice on pig farms throughout North America.

The Code, developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council, requires that facilities built after July 1st, 2014 use group housing systems for pregnant sows.

Sayara Thurston, campaign manager with HSI/Canada, stated: “This is a watershed moment for farm animals in Canada and throughout North America. It signals the beginning of the end of archaic, extreme confinement systems that consumers simply don’t support and which other countries have long-since banned. There is still much advancement needed to improve the welfare of pigs raised on Canadian farms, but this Code of Practice is a monumental first step.”

Gestation crates have come under fire from veterinarians, family farmers, animal welfare advocates, lawmakers, scientists, consumers and food retailers. Major retailers throughout North America have taken a stand against this cruel confinement system, with McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Tim Hortons and dozens more all mandating a switch to more humane housing.

In April 2013, the Retail Council of Canada and eight of Canada’s largest retailers, including Walmart Canada, Loblaws, and Costco Canada committed to sourcing fresh pork products from alternatives to gestation crates over the next nine years.

A recently completed economic study released by HSI/Canada confirms that the Canadian pork industry stands to lose significant ground to international competitors, particularly in the newly-accessible European Union, if a move away from gestation crates is not made swiftly and effectively.



Filed under: Newsletters in Activism, , , ,

Vancouver Animal Defence League Victories!



Grouse Mountain has removed all cruel fur products from its retail operations almost immediately after we announced an anti-fur protest for January 7, and following a months-long campaign.

On January 2, following a New Year’s Eve announcement of the protest, Grouse Mountain informed us that there is now “no fur on the mountain.” On January 3, we entered Outfitters and confirmed that the store is now 100% fur-free.

Prior to announcement of the protest, Outfitters had carried fur-trimmed Canada Goose and Parajumpers jackets. In October 2013, we transmitted email and voicemail appeals to Grouse Mountain in order to initiate dialogue, but Grouse ignored the appeals, compelling us to launch a sustained pressure campaign via social media, telephone and in-store presence. At one point, after an activist visited Outfitters and spoke with customers on November 11, Grouse summoned the RCMP, who handcuffed, detained and interrogated the activist.

Given Grouse Mountain’s iconic status, this is a keystone victory in the battle against the vile fur industry generally and Canada Goose in particular. We’ll monitor Grouse every week through the fall.

Grouse Mountain is the second Canadian retailer to drop Canada Goose’s fur products after VADL campaigns: Hills of Kerrisdale dropped Canada Goose and went 100% fur-free in winter 2012 after months of protest. Currently we’re also undertaking a fur-free campaign at Brooklyn Clothing.


Click here to view the outstanding 7-minute+ interview with VADL activist Michael Brooks and Brooklyn Clothing owner Jason Overbo regarding our current fur campaign:

The campaign is going strong, now in its third month. We’ll protest at Brooklyn for years if needed, period.


VADL activists have secured a meeting with the owner of Sun Sui Wah, to discuss an end to that restaurant’s serving of shark fin soup; stay tuned for the outcome. Meantime our Fintastic Friday protests will continue so long as Sun Sui Wah supports torture and extermination of sharks. Nine months of protesting under our belts so far!


Every Wed. and Sat., 11-1: Protests at Brooklyn Clothing on Davie
Every Fri., 630-830: Shark fin protest at Sun Sui Wah


Filed under: Newsletters in Activism, Ongoing Events, Protests, , , , , , ,

Summary of the CITES with CATCA

Summary of the CITES CoP16:
I invite you visit my CATCA FUNDRAISER GROUP: to bid on some cool animal items to help me cover the expenses of my lobbying… at the CITES CoP16. If you want to know about my succesful lobbying stories check my wall. Please share widely.
Thank you!
Ericka Ceballos


Filed under: Articles, Follow Ups, Fundraisers, Newsletters in Activism, Updates, , , , , , ,

Update from Vancouver Animal Defence League- Fortune Garden Seafood Restaurant takes shark fin soup off menu and more!

After 8 months of protesting outside of Fortune Garden Seafood Restaurant they have finally agreed to take shark fin soup off their menu. By the end of this month they will have changed their menus and sold the last of their stock. FIN FREE!
Our Fintastic Friday Nights continue! Please join us at Sun Sui Wah (3888 Main St) every friday night from 6:30 till 8:30 pm until they remove shark fins from their menu!

ACTION ALERT: Nanaimo Seal Hunt Protest Saturday 16 March 2013

12:00-2:30pm, Saturday, March 16, 2013, the Vancouver Island Animal Defense League will demonstrate against the Canadian commercial seal hunt beside the old Island Highway in Nanaimo, BC. We will meet on the hill overlooking the traffic lights at the corner of Terminal Avenue North (Island Highway) and Brechin Road, rain or shine. There’s plenty of free parking near the Tim Hortons at Brooks Landing Shopping Centre. This event has been timed to coincide with two ferry arrivals from Vancouver ACTION ALERT: Nanaimo Seal Hunt Protest Saturday 16 March 2013

12:00-2:30pm, Saturday, March 16, 2013, the Vancouver Island Animal Defense League will demonstrate against the Canadian commercial seal hunt beside the old Island Highway in Nanaimo, BC. We will meet on the hill overlooking the traffic lights at the corner of Terminal Avenue North (Island Highway) and Brechin Road, rain or shine. There’s plenty of free parking near the Tim Hortons at Brooks Landing Shopping Centre. This event has been timed to coincide with two ferry arrivals from Vancouver and to catch lunchtime traffic along the highway. Please come and bring any anti-sealing signs you may have. Otherwise you can help hold up our large Stop the Slaughter sign or simply wave at passing motorists. If you can’t stay for the whole time, your presence for even a little while will be appreciated.


National shark fin vote!

On March 27 MP Fin Donnelly’s private members bill C-380 will be voted on by Canada’s MP’s. This bill would ban the importation of shark fins into Canada.
In BC we are focusing on three conservative MP’s who have stated they plan to vote against the shark fin ban. The more people who contact these MP’s the better chance we have to change their vote, it’s still possible!!

James Lunney, Nanaimo- Port Alberni
Check out the VADL on the front page of the Nanaimo Bulletin facing off with James Lunney on this issue.

Andrew Saxton, North Vancouver

John Weston, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast


Vancouver Animal Defense League SHIRTS!!

Support our efforts by buying our gear!

Thank you!


Filed under: Blogging, Letters, Newsletters in Activism, Protests, Rallies, Twittering, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

A Second Fish Farm Tests Positive for Virus Near Clayoquot Sound


There is an outbreak of a virus in Clayoquot Sound near the endangered salmon runs of the Megin River.  A second farm tested positive on Friday near Sechelt Inlet. Government says it is IHN, government says it is not a problem for wild salmon, but the scientific literature says different.

Government and the salmon farming industry have won my complete distrust and so I am trying to find out more and trying to get samples to run tests on the farm salmon and the wild salmon nearby.

If this virus is truly no problem, the industry, the province and the federal government should be fine with independent tests.

Mainstream, owned by the Norwegian government is killing 1/2 million fish “This is code red,” says Mainstream spokesperson Laurie Jensen

Very disturbing,

alexandra morton

Filed under: Newsletters in Activism, , , , , , , ,

Message from CATCA on the Canadian Seal Hunt

Dear all,

I have some important news to share with you all:

Canadian commercial seal hunt

Our blood thirsty Canadian Federal Government and the DFO does it again:
Now they want an annual quota of 400,000 Harp seals for 2012!

They totally don’t have to struggle much to be completely deaf and blind to all
the facts of scientific reports and data, stating that the harp seal
populations are vulnerable due to high mortality rates caused by global
warming, with poor ice conditions threatening the survival of the baby seals.

Our government is also totally ignoring the fact that there is not market at
the EU and in several other countries worldwide.

The EU ban on the import trade of seal products that was implemented in August
20th 2010, has been literally killing the market and the commercial seal hunt
even before it came in effect, making this the only effective action that has
ever threatened to end the infamous and brutal Canadian commercial harp seal

But then why the DFO’s Gods claim more innocent baby seal blood?

They do it because they want to show the world that they can still kill baby
seals, even if there is not a real market nor they make any profit, just to
waste as usual our own tax payers money in sponsoring sadistic fishermen (that
make less than 1% of their annual income of profit) in this barbaric commercial
seal hunt.

It is simple and plain: Canada doesn’t care at all for conservation of seals or
any other wildlife.

They also do it because they are desperate as all their international seal
market doors are slamming on their face now.

Last year they had the same quota and they claimed that they caught around
70,000 harp seals -some say 38,000-( and we wonder how they did that as there
were barely any boats on the ice, with about 225 sealers in the commercial seal
hunt of 2011 according to some observers).

2011 was a bad year for the fishermen at “The Front”, because there were
several reports of freshly cut seal skins dumped upon arrival in garbish
containers in New Foundland, more than in other prior years.


So what is the point of just killing our beautiful seals for nothing?
It doesn’t make sense at all.

But it is just a matter of time, as the DFO and our Federal government will not
be able to keep on doing this senseless killing of our Canadian seals much
if there are not markets for the pelts and other seal derivates.

The only thing that we know for sure, is that the end of this horrific
slaughter is near, and no matter how much the DFO tries, they can’t keep doing
this unsustainable, non for profit, wasteful and beyond any civilized common
sense killing of the seals just because they don’t like them.

Hopefuly it will be sooner than later, so no more blood of the innocent baby
seals will be spilled to please the DFO never ending blood thirsty gods.

International Campaign to help Yupi

In other news, please sign and share our petition online for Yupi.
We need to get 100,000 signature (or hopefuly more) by the end of this month.

These signatures will be printed and sent out to the Director of the zoo.

For more info on this campaign pls. check our webpages:

Thank you!

Ericka Ceballos
Coordinator of the International Campaign to Save Yupi
International Save Yupi Coalition
Campaigns Against the Cruelty to Animals CATCA

Ericka Ceballos, CATCA

Filed under: Newsletters in Activism,

Canadian Schools and Hospitals End Cruel Animal Trauma Training

NEWS RELEASE October 21, 2011


Canada Ends Cruel Live Animal Labs 


Decision Reflects International Move Away from Live Animal Use for Trauma Training

WASHINGTON—Canadian hospitals and medical schools have ended their lethal use of live animals for trauma training. The last two institutions in the country still using animals recently moved to nonanimal methods: The University of Sherbrooke was using 32 dogs a year for trauma training but has switched to simulators. Last month, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal ended animal use following communications from the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

Many Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) programs in Canada had previously involved cutting open anesthetized pigs and dogs to practice emergency medical procedures.

Since 2009, nine Canadian ATLS programs have replaced animal use with simulators developed specifically for trauma training. The University of Saskatchewan, for example, was using live pigs until PCRM successfully lobbied the school to use nonanimal methods. Queen’s University and McMaster University also replaced animals with simulators following requests from the doctors’ group.

Now all of the nearly two dozen ATLS programs in Canada use only modern training methods that better equip medical professionals to respond to trauma injuries.

“I congratulate everyone involved in reaching this win-win decision, which combines the most up-to-date, sophisticated training available and the best ethical and humane practices,” says John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., PCRM’s director of academic affairs. “There is no justification for using live animals in such courses. Nonanimal teaching methods offer a more effective—and more humane—way to teach lifesaving procedures. Canada now leads the way in achieving the best educational and ethical standards for ATLS training.”

Only five of more than 240 ATLS programs in the United States continue to use live animals for training. This shift has been facilitated by innovations in medical simulation technology, a rising awareness of ethical concerns, and a growing acknowledgement that medical training must be human-focused.

For an interview with Dr. Pippin, please contact Dania DePas at 202-527-7382 or

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research,and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.


Reposted From Original Article

Filed under: Newsletters in Activism, Updates

Spending on sport hunting trumps Great Lakes Clean-up Fund

Is there anything more evident to show us the deep sickness that runs through Canada?  Peaceful Parks Coalition Press Release



Peaceful Parks Coalition



For Immediate Release


Ontario Election – Honesty Press Release


Spending on sport hunting trumps Great Lakes Clean-up Fund



September 20, 2011 Toronto, Ontario:  Last week, the McGuinty government announced 52 million dollars to clean up the Great Lakes.  To give some perspective to this announcement let’s compare it to the millions of dollars dedicated annually to the sport hunting and fishing industry.


This year, the McGuinty government has earmarked 68 million dollars to sport hunting and fishing interests through the Fish and Wildlife Special Purpose Account.  All projects and research focus on enhancing sport fishing and hunting with little funds supporting species at risk or habitat preservation.


What does 68 million dollars get you?


An additional wild turkey hunting day specifically targeting youth hunters;

Develop fisheries plans;

Develop fisheries management zone councils;

Longer Lake Trout fishing seasons, streamlined bass and pike limits;

Over 7 million fish stocked in the Great Lake to enhance sport fishery;

Five year moose study;

Online deer and moose surveys;

New Framework to Enhance Bear Management;

Moose pregnancy rate study, and so on.


“While some of these projects may have broader wildlife value, each project is chosen first and foremost to enhance sport hunting and fishing – 68 million dollars worth – every year,” says Valastro.


The number of people joining the hook and bullet crowd is declining, including the sport of deer hunting.  According to ministry of natural resources data, the number of active deer hunters has fluctuated since 2004 but has declined by 29,000 participants from its peak in 2007 (226,377) to 197,174 active hunters in 2010.


“Millions of people depend on clean drinking water from the Great Lakes, yet the best the McGuinty government can do is make a one time cash offer of 52 million dollars to protect this invaluable water source,” says Valastro. “I think he should stop bribing voters and seriously re-evaluate his priorities.”





For more Information, please contact AnnaMaria Valastro at 416.785.8636 cell



Note to the Editor:


Statistical information was retrieved through the office of Assistant Deputy Minister Rosalyn Lawrence, Policy Division, Ministry of Natural Resources.




Peaceful Parks Coalition

P.O. Box 326, Station B

Toronto, Ontario M5T 2W2


Filed under: Newsletters in Activism, Updates, , , , , , , ,

CATCA E-Newsletter Volume 21

CATCA E-Newsletter Volume 21

World Animal Day Ambassador, Local news, Help Yupi the polar bear


I am proud to announce that this year I am the World Animal Day Ambassador in Canada, so CATCA will hold an event in September 18th to celebrate the World Animal Day in Vancouver and two other events will be held in New Westminster and Surrey BC, Canada as part of the WAD events this year.

We will have an educative table in downtown Vancouver on September 18th and also we are calling some schools to launch a competition of children drawings with different subjects about animal welfare for the World Animal Day to create a wall of drawings to exhibit to the general public. We will also have a fundraiser event in a bowling center in the city of Surrey.

Sunday September 18th:
We will be in Vancouver (behind the Art Gallery on the Georgia side) from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Monday September 19th:
Bowl for the Animals event at Excalibur Bowling Centre in Surrey 12350 Pattullo Place (Very near to the Scott Road Station) Surrey, BC from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Come with your friends and family, have fun, have a veggie/vegan meal and help the animals in need!

CATCA is organizing with some schools in New Westminster an animal awareness drawing contest for kids from grade 4th to grade 7th, but I will have more details of this contest later on.

Come and celebrate the World Animal Day with us!

Ericka Ceballos
Founder and President
Campaigns Against the Cruelty to Animals

PS.- Check this event in FB here:

Filed under: Newsletters in Activism For Humanitarian and Animal Legislation

Not sure why, but we seem to be on a roll here.  Check out last weeks victories, including the petition to advance animal cruelty legislation in British Columbia.


Best. Week. Ever. Here’s what happened in the last seven days, because members took action:

1) Ai Weiwei released! A petition started by more than 20 directors of the world’s most famous art museums turned into an international movement. 140,000 of us joined the campaign, and on Wednesday the Chinese dissident artist was freed. Weiwei’s manager says members were “amazing” and personally thanked you for the support that helped to lead to his release.

2) Women in Saudi Arabia are driving! Saudi women activists won 3 campaigns on this week: With your help, they got charges dropped against Manal al-Sharif, who was arrested for driving a car in a country where it’s illegal for women to do so. After two more petitions targeting Hillary Clinton and Europe’s top ambassador Catharine Ashton, both spoke out forcefully in favor of giving women the right to drive (and Hillary says she only took a public stand because of this campaign!).

3) Sled dogs, saved! After a hundred sled dogs were brutally massacred in British Columbia, Lost actor Ian Somerhalder created a campaign on to get the province to change its policies governing the treatment of animals. More than 67,000 people signed, and British Columbia just adopted the strongest anti-cruelty laws in all of Canada! 

4) Grand Canyon, preserved! With a uranium-mining ban about to expire in the area surrounding the famous U.S. landmark, Arizona resident Suzanne Sparling led the charge to extend it. She collected 50,000 public comments from members, and last Monday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced his support for another 20-year ban on the dangerous practice.

5) And the Minnesota Twins make 5. To cap it all off, CBS reported on Tuesday that the Minnesota Twins will be the 5th pro baseball team to make an “It Gets Better” video to help prevent suicide by teens who are bullied for being gay. Every team that’s made a video (Twins, Red Sox, Cubs, Mariners, and Giants) has done so after a local member started a petition asking them to. As these victories add up, the cumulative effect is eroding the culture of homophobia in men’s pro sports.

We accomplished all this together, but every single campaign began when one person created a petition on

Click here to start your own petition now — our tech team has made it easier than ever.

Let’s have another great week.

– Patrick and the team

P.S. Here’s another amazing fact: These are just 5 of the more than 200 campaigns that members have won in 2011. If there’s something you want to change about a policy in your town, a practice by a business, or anything you care about, click here to start your own petition.

Filed under: Blogging, Newsletters in Activism, Twittering, , , , , , , ,

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Stop UBC Animal Research Campaign at Vancouver Art Gallery

Flickr Photos