SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Meghann Cant BSc (Agroecology) MSc (Animal Welfare), Animal Welfare Educator, British Columbia SPCA (BC SPCA)
For many of us, the very thought of eating rabbits is disturbing, yet there is a burgeoning meat rabbit industry here in Canada. The industry, mainly concentrated in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, has no national representative body and, until this year, no national welfare standards.
On February 15, 2018, Canada’s first Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Rabbits was released. Just what does this Code mean for rabbits? This presentation will give you a brief overview of where the industry is at right now and take you through the key welfare outcomes negotiated at the table. There were some solid wins but, if you are at all familiar with rabbits, there were also some compromises that could not be overcome in this first go-round. Meghann Cant will walk you through the dynamics of negotiating the Code and arm you with examples of how rabbit welfare will be improved from current practice.
- Brief overview of the rabbit industry in Canada.
- Summary of the major requirements and recommended practices in the Rabbit Code.
- Highlights of what changed in the Rabbit Code after the public comment period.
Meghann Cant has worked for the BC SPCA as an animal welfare educator since 2009. She produces educational materials for adults and youth, including Bark!, the BC SPCA’s magazine for kids. Meghann has a Bachelor of Science in Agroecology (2003) and a Masters of Science in Animal Welfare (2013), both from the University of British Columbia. Over the years, she has volunteered with animals in a variety of settings, from veterinary medicine to wildlife rehabilitation to senior animal rescue. Her keenest interests are small mammal behaviour, health and welfare.
MONDAY, APRIL 23
Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy, Executive Director, Animals in Science Policy Institute
Unlike other countries, such as the UK, Canada lacks any national legislation specific to the animals used in science, so what protections do lab animals have, if not legal ones? The current peer-based agency that oversees the use of animals in science in Canada – The Canadian Council on Animal Care – was established in 1968. Forty years on, it’s time to reflect on the systems that we have in place to protect the welfare of lab animals, and to critically examine the governance of animal-based science. This talk will delve into the structure of Canada’s governance system for overseeing the use of animals in science and will evaluate Canada’s progress in implementing the Three Rs principles of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement.
- What legal protection do animals used in science have in Canada? If not legal protection, what other mechanisms are in place to safeguard lab animal welfare?
- What are the successes and shortcomings of the governance system for animal-based science in Canada?
- What progress has been made in the Three Rs? What should the focus of future progress be?
Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy is Executive Director of the Animals in Science Policy Institute, a registered Canadian charity that aims to build an ethical culture of science that respects animal life by promoting the reduction and replacement of animals in teaching, research and testing. Elisabeth brings to this role her background in Neuroscience and PhD-level expertise in animal ethics and the governance of animal-based science. She worked for the Canadian Council on Animal Care as a research fellow from 2009-2011, and subsequently sat on the Standards Committee until 2016. Elisabeth currently sits as an Advisor on the Environment and Animal Welfare committee for the Vancouver Foundation and on the Advisory Council of the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
Beth Gammie, Director of Field Services, RedRover
It is essential for the animal welfare community to come together and help government agencies provide temporary emergency animal sheltering for communities evacuating from natural disasters. This is an awareness-level session on what temporary emergency animal sheltering is and how to go about it. The session will include discussion on the different types of emergency shelters, how to set one up and supply and staff it, daily operations, how to maximize reunification of animals with their people, communications and demobilization.
- What is temporary emergency animal sheltering, and why is it crucial in natural disasters? Studies show that up to 40% of people will not evacuate in natural disasters if they are not able to bring their pets with them. This leads to untold human and animal suffering and loss of life. Temporary emergency animal shelters provide sheltering for animals evacuated or rescued from natural disasters, and there are three different types: 1) Co-habitated: people living side-by-side with their animals; 2) Co-located: people and animals living under the same roof, but in separate living areas and 3) Stand-alone temporary shelter: only shelters animals (often nearby a Red Cross or other human shelter). We’ll discuss the pros and cons of the different shelter types.
- How to set up, supply and staff a temporary emergency animal shelter: we’ll cover issues such as how to select a sheltering site, basics on laying it out (the sections that are needed) and how to go about getting the supplies and staffing needed to run it. We’ll also cover the basics of operations, from intake to reunification.
- Reunification of animals with their people should be the North Star, guiding all your sheltering decisions. In the chaos and stress of disaster, it is easy to put reunification on the back burner. However, unless reunification is a focus for the emergency shelter from the beginning, many people and animals from the disaster will never be reunited. This is of course a tragedy for the animals, who lose their family. It is also tragic and extremely painful for people, who may have lost everything in the disaster. There are decision points all along the way: selecting a shelter site, the type of shelter, best practices on intake and communications that can facilitate reunification. We’ll discuss all of these, as well as lessons learned on reunification.
Beth Gammie is the Director of Field Services for RedRover, an American animal welfare organization headquartered in Sacramento, California. In this role, Beth leads the RedRover Responders Program, which provides emergency animal sheltering in natural disasters and large-scale cruelty seizures throughout the United States and Canada. Prior to this position, she was a volunteer with RedRover and other animal welfare groups. Beth lives in Tallahassee, Florida and is staff to her 4 cats.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
Carrie Fritz, Executive Director, Calgary Humane Society
Jill Gibson, Investigator, Calgary Humane Society
Sage Pullen McIntosh, General Manager of Community Relations, Calgary Humane Society
With the seemingly growing number of natural disasters affecting heavily-populated areas, it isn’t a matter of "if" there will be another emergency situation, it is a matter of "when". In light of the floods and wildfires that have impacted Alberta in the past several years, many animal welfare organizations have started the process of preparing for a large-scale emergency response in their area.
Now that we have learned how to build relationships with multiple levels of government and interested stakeholders and the importance of working as a team, Calgary Humane Society will share its experience during several recent disasters and will provide key takeaways for animal welfare organizations so they can be better prepared to provide an appropriate animal response when disaster strikes.
Based on our experience with the Slave Lake fire in 2011, the Calgary/High River Flood in 2013, and the Fort McMurray Wildfires in 2016, Calgary Humane Society will lead an interactive discussion on how they were able to offer support to affected areas during these times of crisis, with a specific focus on communication strategies, internal operations and logistical support for teams on the ground.
- What you need to prepare as an animal welfare organization in order to be responsive and be able to offer the necessary support to save animal lives. We will examine this from both an internal perspective (dealing with emergency situations within a shelter environment, such as disease outbreak, mass intake, etc.) and from an external perspective (dealing with natural disasters, such as fire and flood).
- What crisis communication strategies need to be employed to ensure key stakeholders receive consistent and effective communication to avoid potential confusion and misinformation.
- What does this support look like: from providing people, equipment, supplies and other resources to actual "boots on the ground" support. We will discuss the challenges faced and the improvements that have been made to increase effectiveness of this effort.
Carrie Fritz is the Executive Director of Calgary Humane Society and is a CGA-CPA, who attended the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University, obtaining her accounting designation in 1996. Since taking on the role of Executive Director, Carrie has focused on building a professional, highly-skilled team in order to further all aspects of animal welfare, inspiring the community to take on the challenges of animal welfare and teach them to be responsible pet owners. Carrie currently lives just south of Calgary, where she shares her home with her daughter, her three dogs and two rescue rabbits.
Jillian Gibson, a graduate of Lethbridge College's Criminology program, joined Calgary Humane Society's Protection and Investigations department in 2011. Since then, she has investigated thousands of animal cruelty files, most notably the high profile Willow Park muzzling (Camardi) case and the Riverfront Aquariums case, both of which, upon conviction, were given record-setting sentences.
Sage Pullen McIntosh joined Calgary Humane Society in February 2015. Previously, Sage spent 16 years working in both radio and television news as a reporter, anchor and producer. Sage holds her Master of Arts in Professional Communication through Royal Roads University in Victoria and has a passion for crisis communications and media relations. When not at work, Sage can be found camping with her family, walking her giant English Mastiff (Thor) or at the soccer field, dojo or gym with at least one of her very active kids.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
Dr. Dave Bjolin, Canada Task Force 2/Olds College
Bonnie Lewin, Business Continuity & Recovery Planner - ESS Planner, The City of Calgary
The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) is a coordinating body that collaborates with more than 60 Agency members to prepare for, and respond to, emergencies and disasters. CEMA manages Canada Task Force 2 (CAN-TF2), which is one of five national all-hazard disaster response teams, as well as Calgary’s Emergency Social Services (ESS) program. CAN-TF2 and ESS will discuss the importance of building relationships with partners (internal, external and governmental) and the importance of working as a team when a disaster or emergency strikes.
- See how your organization fits within the emergency management system during a response.
- Some challenges and opportunities when developing your emergency response plans.
- How to work with multiple levels of government when disaster hits.
Dr. Dave Bjolin graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1994 and has worked as a veterinarian on Vancouver Island and in Calgary. Dave has been a faculty member at Olds College since 2007. He volunteers with Alberta Spay and Neuter Task Force, including a recent involvement as part of the response to the Fort McMurray Wildfires. Dave joined Canada Task Force 2, Alberta’s Disaster Response Team, in 2016 and works with the Canine as well as Search teams.
Bonnie Lewin is a Registered Social Worker in Alberta and the Emergency Social Services (ESS) Planner for The City of Calgary. She has been involved in emergency planning for more than ten years and participated in five ESS activations, including the 2013 Alberta South Floods. Bonnie incorporates citizen, internal and external partner perspectives in the ESS plan to ensure the impacted individuals' needs are met in a safe and welcoming environment. Her social work background enhances the delivery of services as she focuses on building citizen and staff capacity to recover from a disaster or emergency. Bonnie meets with her ESS colleagues from other Alberta municipalities regularly to assist in creating best practices for the delivery of ESS in Alberta. She has delivered presentations to Emergency Management personnel in British Columbia and Alberta.
MONDAY, APRIL 23
Geeta Seshamani, Senior Wildlife Conservationist and Co-Founding Director, Wildlife SOS
Known for the landmark conservation success of ending the brutal dancing bear trade in India through the rescue of 628 dancing bears and the rehabilitation of the Kalandar community that depended on the bears, Wildlife SOS has established itself as a premier conservation organization in India.
Wildlife SOS was started in 1995 as an offshoot of Geeta Seshamani’s existing helpline for domestic animals in distress in the National Capital Region, and has since grown from a local 24-hour rescue helpline for wildlife to a country-wide organization, running more than 40 projects and 11 rescue centres with the aim of enabling coexistence of human beings and wildlife. Today, the organization runs three 24-hour rescue helplines in major cities in India (including the national capital of Delhi), which rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife caught in urban settings.
With exploding populations and rapid urbanization, forests continue to shrink as anthropogenic stress destroys natural habitats, diverts water channels and depletes prey bases for indigenous wildlife, forcing them into human habitation on the periphery of former forested areas. A natural result of this is human-wildlife conflict, a fast growing and extremely critical conservation concern for the 21st century.
In response to this growing threat to wildlife, Wildlife SOS runs conflict mitigation projects in Maharashtra for leopards, in Kashmir for Asiatic Black Bears and Himalayan Brown Bears, and in Chhattisgarh for the Asian elephant. The projects work closely with local affected communities and stakeholders to provide solutions to conflict that are inclusive and hence sustainable, relying on increased tolerance and compassion on the parts of local people inculcated in them through training programs, awareness drives and mitigation workshops by the organization. Wildlife SOS also works on human-primate conflict mitigation in the city of Agra, running a humane population control project through scientific immuno-sterilisation that also helps reduce inter and intra-specific territorial aggression and conflict.
- There’s no going back, only learning to move forward: Populations are growing, and will continue to grow unchecked for a long time, and anthropogenic pressure on the environment cannot always be reduced or eliminated. In situations like this, dwelling on the difficulty of the situation and wishing we could undo the problems we have created for wildlife will not work – the need of the hour is to find a way to move forward sustainably by creating oases of sanctuary for these animals, and helping people learn to co-exist with the wildlife they share their landscapes with.
- The larger the animal, the larger the problem: With larger animals, particularly carnivores, who force themselves to adapt to urban environments, the problem is exacerbated by an acute intolerance founded on baseless fear, misunderstanding and a lack of awareness. In most instances, unrealistic demands for culling, capture and relocation cannot be met due to their significant detrimental impact on the environment and wild populations of critical species – and innovative solutions are required to solve the problem.
- The key is in community: In instances where local communities, particularly poor farming communities residing on the fringes of society are the most affected by conflict, legal, political and governmental solutions are rarely as effective as community-based solutions that seek to involve local stakeholders and affected persons by engaging with them to increase awareness, and involving them as active participants in the conservation of the species through mitigation of conflict.
Geeta Seshamani started working in 1979 with an animal welfare organization called Friendicoes SECA in New Delhi. Her passion is Wildlife Conservation and Research. Geeta has been a Member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, Central Zoo Authority, Government of India and has received several life time achievement awards and felicitations for her work in the field. Geeta established Wildlife SOS, India (wildlifesos.org) in 1995 with Kartick Satyanarayan that runs several projects to support Bear conservation in India including the largest rehabilitation center in the world for sloth bears. She is known for her work in bringing an end to the ‘dancing bear’ problem in India while rehabilitating the Kalandar communities through education and alternate livelihoods. She is now focused on tackling Bear conservation issues through biodiversity conservation, protecting sloth bear and black bear habitat and creating bear conservation and education programs to mitigate bear human conflict in India, wherever there is an increase in human-bear conflict.
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
Moderator: Derek deLouche, Director of Resource Development and Member Services, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS)
Don MacIntosh, Sales & Marketing Director of Professional Division, Royal Canin Canada
Dani Mailing, Regional Relationship Manager, PetSmart Charities of Canada
Allison Schultz, Agency Development Associate, Community Foundation of Calgary
This session will outline the ins and outs of how different funders can work together to help you realize your programming and capital campaign goals, write a great funding plan, measure impact and report back in ways that meet expectations and maintain positive relationships with your funders. Each speaker represents a different funder perspective and how funding organization are collaborating to make a difference in our communities.
- How foundation, corporate and private partners can come together to fund your projects.
- Addressing community needs with multiple partners working together rather than working apart.
- Communicating results and ensuring funder satisfaction.
Derek deLouche has devoted his career to making positive change in the world in the area of children and youth and, now, animal welfare. He is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and is the immediate Past-President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Ottawa Chapter. He has received multiple awards during his professional career, including the United Way Ottawa Community Builder Award in 2016 and AFP’s Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award in 2004. Derek’s personal passions include volunteering and social media, and he has a love of dining out. Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, Derek and his husband Brad moved to Ottawa in 2010, and they live in Barrhaven with their rescue dog Turbo. Derek volunteers as a presenter with United Way Ottawa’s Community Builder Awards, on the board of the Youville Centre and is a past board member of the Ten Oaks Projects.
Don MacIntosh leads Royal Canin’s Professional Division, which works closely with many shelters across Canada. The Professional Division is dedicated to nutrition, providing education & sharing best practices between shelter partners across Canada and beyond. Don is an experienced marketing leader with proven results across several businesses and campaigns in Canada and the USA over the past decade. Don was awarded the Global "Make The Difference" Award for Mars in 2016 for his leadership on the launch of a large charitable partnership (Red Nose Day, USA), which has successfully raised $100 million since 2015. Don is passionate about spending time with his family and their dog Jerry. Together, they enjoy road trips, hiking, skiing and (of course) the Blue Jays!
With a deep passion for issues related to animal welfare, the environment, and social justice, Dani Mailing believes in the power of charities to address the challenges of our time. Dani is the Regional Relationship Manager for PetSmart Charities of Canada. She volunteers her time as a board member of the Sustainability Network, and as treasurer for Be Good Be Social, a free social media conference for non-profits. Dani lives in Toronto and spends her free time hiking (and eating ice cream) with her senior dog Clementine.
Allison Schulz is a seasoned fundraising professional with 20 years of experience in planning and integrating comprehensive development strategies. As the Agency Development Associate, Allison collaborates with team members to assist charitable organizations optimize the multiple benefits of having a relationship with the Calgary Foundation. This proactive relationship management approach assists organizations to build long-term revenue generation strategies to support working capital requirements through diversified funding streams. As an active member of her community, Allison dedicates her time to the parent advisory council at her son’s school, is a coach for a local cross-country running group, and is a dedicated volunteer for organizations working with housing insecure or homeless single parents. Allison, together with her husband and son, enjoy spending their spare time in the great outdoors on skis or their mountain bikes.
MONDAY, APRIL 23
Janice Hannah, Senior Education and Research Specialist & Northern Dogs Project Manager, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Education is a key component of any First Nations dog management program that aims to be part of long-term community change by shifting attitudes and ultimately, behaviour. Dogs are a valued part of community, both traditionally and today, and healthy dogs are an important part of building healthy communities. Living in a Good Way with Dogs: Our Stories is a new educational resource developed by First Nations curriculum specialists specifically for First Nations’ learners. This resource brings together traditional culture and relationships with dogs that highlight respect, empathy and responsibility from the experiences of those who matter – the storytellers. Stories from Elders and community role models form the foundation of the materials, bringing to life their real world experiences and wisdom, which can help dog owners, both youth and adult, to build healthy and safe relationships with their four leggeds.
Living in a Good Way with Dogs: Our Stories is made up of 6 units, which delve into different content on dogs: Our Ancestors and Our Dogs; Dogs as Friends and Family; What Our Dogs Need; Living with Dogs in Our Community; Working Dogs – Traditional and Today; and A Dog’s Life: From Puppy to Elder Dog. Each unit is founded on multiple stories (audio) and includes a student activity book, a lesson guide for leaders, and a poster that highlights the content in a visual way.
Come learn about culturally-relevant educational materials for First Nations learners and witness the power that these dog-specific resources have in shifting the way people feel and think about their dogs.
- Understand the background to Aboriginal Education and Culturally-Responsive Aboriginal Education.
- Understand the educational resource Living in a Good Way with Dogs: Our Stories – and how the materials are useful in the community.
- Be able to use the education resource in the communities in which you live or work.
In her dual role as Senior Education and Research Specialist & Northern Dogs Project Manager, Janice Hannah is responsible for developing, monitoring and evaluating the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s companion animal projects in Canada and providing guidance for IFAW’s education initiatives both in Canada and internationally. In her twenty years at IFAW, Jan has worked in numerous program areas, including marine mammal science and education, Animal Action Education, emergency relief, policy and wildlife trade.
Jan’s focus on companion animal welfare merges her long-term interest in working with animals and communities with the objective of building humane and sustainable programs that improve the health and welfare of animals through education and community engagement. Outreach, advice, community development and service provision are cornerstones to IFAW’s work, which provides contextual and culturally-relevant solutions to local issues.
Jan develops and manages community projects on the ground, as well as advising and working on companion animal policy, programming and issues internationally. During the past few years, she has worked on IFAW companion animal population management and rabies eradication projects, as well as in-community animal welfare capacity development around the world.
Jan holds an Honours BSc in Wildlife Biology from the University of Guelph, and a Master's in Education and Teaching Certificate from Niagara University.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Amy Morris MPP, Manager, Public Policy and Outreach, British Columbia (BC SPCA)
This session will take participants through old issues and troubling trends in the connections between science, public policies and enforcement strategies in agriculture and farm animal welfare. Identified issues include: science funding, lack of enforcement, limited communication methods, the impact of employment policies and wages, product differentiation and conflicts between social movements competing for resources.
Funding for science often comes from a specific industry researching a specific problem. Having science driven by industry can be meaningful, but it can also limit big picture thinking in animal welfare research. Who are the players involved and what can be done differently to see better outcomes for animals?
Government legislation is often written with the ideal enforcement scenario in mind, but enforcement is rarely tied to the legislation itself, resulting in low enforcement and low compliance. What can be changed to address enforcement issues?
Communication includes industry mail-outs, local newspapers, and government updates, with in person sessions that have low attendance. Farmers have little time available. How can this communication gap be addressed?
Participants will work in groups to discuss these issues and trends and identify working solutions.
- Learn about the most prevalent systemic issues around Canadian animal farming.
- An appreciation for the nuances of developing policy.
- An understanding of how to create a pathway forward to address farm animal welfare issues.
Amy Morris is the Manager of Public Policy and Outreach at the BC SPCA and a graduate of the Master of Public Policy program at Simon Fraser University. She is passionate about the cycle that turns welfare science into practice, improving the lives of animals of all species. She has worked on farms with cattle, goats, sheep and chickens, volunteered to rehabilitate hoarder and puppy mill pets, and now spends her free time testing the intelligence of her collie mix, Clover.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Dr. Shelley M. Alexander, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Calgary
We need to expand our compassion footprint to wild animals like coyotes. It is estimated that one coyote is killed every minute in the USA, which is a statistic echoed in Canada. For instance, in 2009 alone, approximately 70,000 coyotes were killed on a government-sponsored bounty in Saskatchewan, and untold numbers of dead coyotes dumped along borders and in landfills of adjacent provinces. The welfare implications of routine culling are ignored because coyotes are an extremely resilient species. Arguably, a lack of understanding of the emotional lives of social animals like coyotes plays into citizen requests for and management agencies compliance with the use of lethal force. Further, calls for more compassionate science and management that are based on the knowledge of animal suffering tend to dismissed considered "biased" research or "advocacy" – not science. The idea that coyotes are a menace and should be killed is supported by some citizens, and select interest groups can drive killing, even if the larger citizenship does not agree with this practice. Finally, some agencies are working to promote co-existence and no-kill strategies, but this is difficult in the face of multiple worldviews about what wild species deserve our compassion and belong in proximity to people. This talk will introduce Compassionate Conservation science and convey key findings from a decade of research on coyotes, concepts from animal geography and personal experience raising/studying orphaned coyote pups.
- The causal factors of human-coyote, coyote-pet entanglements.
- Elucidating the ecological, ethical and social pressures shaping these engagements.
- Exploring the emotional lives of coyotes as evidence of moral considerability and the need for compassion.
Dr. Shelley Alexander is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Calgary. She has more than 25 years of experience studying wild canids, specializing in wolves and coyotes in Canada, and is the Founder and Lead Scientist for the Foothills Coyote Initiative. Shelley is also a recognized specialist in geospatial analysis (GIS, Satellite imagery and statistics) for conservation and a road ecologist – studying the effects of roads on species movement patterns. Her other research collaborations include: modelling swift fox critical habitat with the Conservation Science Centre - Calgary Zoo, studying road effects on large carnivores in the Yucatan and developing species-environment models for endangered painted dogs with Painted Dog Research, Zimbabwe. She is a member of the Science Advisory Board for Project Coyotes, USA, Member of the Board for the North American Society for Conservation Biology and Science Advisor to Coyote Watch Canada.