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Canadian Projects

Canadian Blog

by Barry Kent MacKay,
Senior Program Associate

Born Free USA's Canadian Representative


Barry is an artist, both with words and with paint. He has been associated with our organization for nearly three decades and is our go-to guy for any wildlife question. He knows his animals — especially birds — and the issues that affect them. His blogs will give you just the tip of his wildlife-knowledge iceberg, so be sure to stay and delve deeper into his Canadian Project articles. If you like wildlife and reading, Barry's your man. (And we're happy to have him as part of our team, too!)

Who loves Lucy?

Published 03/23/09

We are told Lucy has a tooth problem. But what is being done to fix it? Perhaps nothing. We know that Lucy is being kept all by herself, which is, in fact, illegal. We are also told that Lucy is better off where she is, than being sent to a place where she could be much more free, and no longer alone. And we are told that Lucy is well-loved. And who the heck is Lucy, anyway?

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Tweaking Will Not Change the Canadian Seal Hunt

About Canada’s Pathetic Effort to Mollify Europeans

Published 01/26/09

The European Union is poised to implement a trade ban on all products derived from the notorious, Canadian annual east coast seal hunt, “to ensure that products derived from seals killed and skinned in ways that cause pain, distress and suffering are not found on the European market.”

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Little noted, little mourned, one whale less in the world we dominate

Published 08/20/08

Even today, more than a week later as I type these words, the propane blast that rocked northwest Toronto early in the morning of Sunday, August 10, forcing a major evacuation and damaging much property, dominates the local news. It even made CNN News, briefly, although with only two deaths resulting from the explosion of a propane storage facility inexplicably located in a residential neighborhood, it faded fast.

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Catch and Release

Cruelty in the name of sport

Published 07/14/08

The boat in my driveway was pulled away last night by its happy purchasers, who plan to use it at their cottage on Rice Lake, Ontario. It belonged to all of us at Cormorant Defenders International, some of whom had used it to monitor and film the culling of cormorants by Parks Canada staff in Lake Erie, last spring. While we opposed the culling, it went ahead anyway, although of the 4,000 they planned to kill, they managed to kill only 211.

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Fur trade deals aboriginal card

How the fur trade hurts native trappers (but pretends to care about them)

Published 07/07/08

Three cheers for Delaware for signing into law, on July 3rd, a new law that says that garments made from animal fur must be so labeled. The law goes into effect on June 1, 2010. New York State has a similar law. But oh, I wish those laws had gone one step farther. Let me explain.

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A critique of the OSPCA Act

Published 06/30/08

Some months ago a colleague asked me about the OSPCA (Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Act, proposed for Ontario, which, at the time, was being lauded in some quarters. My friend Lesli Bisgould, an animal rights lawyer, has done a short and informal critique, which is as follows:

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Raising mink raises stink

What really smells in Newfoundland

Published 06/13/08

Awwwww ... those poor people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Newfoundland and Labrador, I should explain to non-Canadians, is the name of our easternmost province, although “Newfoundland” is a very large island, while “Labrador” is a vast region located up the northeast coast of the mainland. The island part, at least, has a problem. Mink farms. Last week the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), using provincial access to information legislation, uncovered an otherwise apparently secretive report on the smelly side of a burgeoning local industry, “farming” mink for the fur trade.

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