Canada is a poor performer (“E”) under the VACI. The country has a high level of animal production and consumption and decentralised and loosely implemented animal protection legislation.
Canada slaughters around 22 land-based animals per person per year, double the global average of 10.1. The country's dependence on farmed animals is around 5.5 farmed animals per person, compared with a global average of 4.1. Canada is a major exporter of pig-based meat products, and although Canada has passed a law to phase out the use of sow stalls by 2024, these devices are still widely used. Pigs, chickens and other farmed birds continue to dominate factory farm production.
The Canadian diet is highly reliant on animal products. The proportion of land animal to plant protein has dropped from 49.4% in 2013 to 47.3% in 2017, which is still much higher than the global average of 35.2%. Each Canadian consumes around 45g of land-based animal protein per day, versus a global average of 27.2g. Approximately 9% of Canadians describe themselves as vegetarians, an increase from 4% in 2003.
Canada is a marginal performer ("D") under the Animal Protection Index (API), and its farmed animal protection legislation achieved the same rating under the index. The quality of animal welfare legislation and its enforcement vary substantially between the country's states and territories. Factory farming, along with many of its cruel practices, are prevalent throughout the country and are largely tolerated under Canada's current animal welfare legislation. Learn more about the quality of Canada's legislative protections on the API here.