Canadian Federation of Humane Societies



Humane Canada is the largest national
animal welfare Animal welfare is the well-being of non-human animals. Formal standards of animal welfare vary between contexts, but are debated mostly by animal welfare groups, legislators, and academics. Animal welfare science uses measures such as longevity ...
organization in
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world's second-largest country by total ...
, representing humane societies, SPCAs, and animal rescue organizations. Humane Canada aims to speak with a strong national voice, promoting the welfare and humane treatment of animals and working to end animal cruelty.


Based in Ottawa, Humane Canada is a
not-for-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO) or non-profit organisation, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in co ...
organization founded in 1957. Some of its founders were Richard Taylor, president of the Ottawa Humane Society; Alne Cameron, former Veterinary Director General for Canada and president of the Ottawa Humane Society; Senator Frederic McGrand; and former lawyer Gord Gunn, who had witnessed the suffering of horses in World War I. Currently, the organization is led by Chief Executive Officer Barbara Cartwright, who joined Humane Canada in July 2011. Recent prior CEOs include: Steve Carrol (2006-2011) and Robert Van Tongerloo (2000-2005). In 2018 the organization rebranded its name to Humane Canada, though its legal name remains the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.


Humane Canada's program work focuses on
companion animals A pet, or companion animal, is an animal kept primarily for a person's company or entertainment rather than as a working animal, livestock, or a laboratory animal. Popular pets are often considered to have attractive appearances, intelligenc ...
livestock Livestock are the domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to provide labor and produce diversified products for consumption such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to animals w ...
legislation Legislation is the process or result of enrolling, enacting, or promulgating laws by a legislature, parliament, or analogous governing body. Before an item of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as ...
. The organization works to improve legislation to improve the prosecution of some animal abusers. The Federation works with the Canadian livestock sector to improve standards of care for animals on farm, as well as in
transit Transit may refer to: Arts and entertainment Film * ''Transit'' (1979 film), a 1979 Israeli film * ''Transit'' (2005 film), a film produced by MTV and Staying-Alive about four people in countries in the world * ''Transit'' (2006 film), a 2006 ...
and at slaughter. As a founding member of the National Companion Animal Coalition, Humane Canada has been involved in setting the standard for
microchip An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece (or "chip") of semiconductor material, usually silicon. Large numbers of tiny ...
identification for pets, and has worked on such issues as dog bite prevention, puppy mills and municipal bylaws for dogs and cats. Humane Canada is also a member of the Animal Welfare Committee of the
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) (french: Association canadienne des médecins vétérinaires, ACMV), founded in 1876, provides leadership on national veterinary issues, advocates for animal welfare, and works to encourage life ba ...

National Animal Welfare Conference

The organization holds national animal welfare conferences. The 2014 conference included presentations by
Jane Goodall Dame Jane Morris Goodall (; born Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall on 3 April 1934), formerly Baroness Jane van Lawick-Goodall, is an English primatologist and anthropologist. Seen as the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best know ...
, veterinarian Michelle Lem on a Community Veterinary Outreach Program in Ontario, and a discussion of trap-neuter-return to humanely reduce community cat populations. Animal testing was also discussed. The 2015 conference took place in May in
Richmond, British Columbia Richmond is a coastal city in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Canada. It occupies almost the entirety of Lulu Island (excluding Queensborough), between the two estuarine distributaries of the Fraser River. Encompassing the ad ...


Humane Canada does not receive any government funding. It relies on donations from the public, corporate sponsorship and some membership fees to fund its programs.


Humane Canada is governed by a
volunteer Volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group wikt:gratis, freely giving time and labor for community service. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. O ...
-based Board of Directors. Board members may be employed by member societies. The members of the Board meet four times each year (two face-to-face, two conference calls), while both the Executive and Finance Committees meet monthly. The CFHS website maintains a current list of directors.


In 2013, the organization's members included 45 animal welfare organizations, humane societies and SPCAs operating across Canada.


* ''Animal Welfare in Focus'' is the organization's newsletter. Past issues are available online. A monthly e-newsletter is also available for subscription. * In February 2014, in conjunction with World Spay Day, the CFHS published ''The Case for Accessible Spay/Neuter in Canada'', which "illuminates the lack of accessible spay/neuter in communities across the country and what can be done about it." *''Cats in Canada: A comprehensive Report on the Cat Overpopulation crisis'' was published in 2012. *Position statements have been published on numerous issues, such as animals in entertainment,
euthanasia Euthanasia (from el, εὐθανασία 'good death': εὖ, ''eu'' 'well, good' + θάνατος, ''thanatos'' 'death') is the practice of intentionally ending life to eliminate pain and suffering. Different countries have different eutha ...
of companion animals, and surgical mutilation."Position statements"
, CFHS, accessed Oct. 5, 2014.

See also

* Legal status of animals in Canada


External links

* {{Authority control Animal welfare organizations based in Canada Animal charities based in Canada