Humane Canada: Caring For Animals To End Cruelty To Animals

Small Business Canada

Previously known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, Humane Canada was founded in 1957. It is Canada’s federation of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and humane societies. They bring together organizations that work with and care for animals to end cruelty to animals, strengthen animal protection, and promote the humane treatment of all animals.

Elevating Animal Welfare 

Since its inception, Humane Canada has acquired a solid reputation and enviable credibility as the go-to national voice on animal welfare problems for industry, media, government, non-governmental groups, and the general public.

They collaborate and cooperate with key stakeholders from throughout Canada on the premise that by being a part of the process rather than being apart, they can have a stronger impact on achieving positive change.

They are Canada’s voice for animal welfare, which drives positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection, and promote the humane treatment of all animals.

Humane Canada serves as the convener and spokesman of Canada’s largest animal protection community. They promote animal welfare with a strong national voice, advocating for the interests and concerns of animal welfare to the government, policymakers, industry, and the general public.    

As a values-based organization, they believe that each animal has intrinsic value, extraordinary complexity, and inherent dignity. Hence, they are deserving of respect and moral concern. 

They advocate for universal humane treatment, care, and protection of all animals and insist that all animals used by humans be provided with high levels of care to ensure their health and behavioral needs.

In addition, Humane Canada advocates habitat protection and enhancement for the well-being of animals in the wild.

Bringing in Change 

Barbara Cartwright is the CEO of Humane Canada, the federation of humane societies and SPCAs. In her role, Barbara convenes and represents the largest animal welfare community in Canada, working to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection, and promote the humane treatment of all animals.

Barbara is sought after for her knowledge of policy and public affairs. She has secured amendments to the Criminal Code, Fisheries Act, Migratory Bird Act, and Canadian Environmental Protection Act. In 2019, she secured a ban on cetacean captivity and strengthened animals.

Humane Canada is the national voice of humane societies and SPCAs in every province and territory across Canada, serving animals in communities large and small, urban and rural, English and French.

They bring together those who work with and care for animals to promote respect and humane treatment of all animals in the home, farm, lab, and in the wild. Their work is focused on four areas:

  • Policy and Research

Humane Canada regularly consults and collaborates with government, industry, and non-profit leaders to address critical animal welfare issues in Canada.

  • Animals and the Law

Humane Canada advocates enacting federal, provincial, and local legislation that protects animals from cruelty and establishes a framework to ensure animals are treated humanely and with respect.

  • Farmed Animals

Humane Canada is critical to the welfare of farmed animals in Canada. As a founding member of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), they fight for ongoing improvements to the farmed animal care standards outlined in Canada’s Codes of Practice. Humane Canada also pushes for changes to legislation affecting farm animals’ care.

  • Companion Animals

Humane Canada campaigns for companion animals and raises awareness of major companion animal welfare concerns among the animal industry, government, and general public. They routinely research companion animal welfare concerns such as overcrowding and homelessness, promote Capacity for Care initiatives that preserve sheltered companion animals’ lives, and serve on committees that improve their health and well-being.

Defining Humaneness 

Humane Canada is a federation of organizations that recognizes a collective has more influence than an individual on key national animal welfare issues. Hence, they work collaboratively and cooperatively with members and stakeholders based on the premise that they have a greater impact on creating positive change by being a part of the process.

They use positive, progressive change to drive meaningful change to end animal cruelty and increase animal welfare. They are an evidence-based organization that encourages and supports innovative and anticipatory thinking to address animal welfare issues and achieve long-term change.

They build integrated, strategic professional teams that use systems thinking to construct an effective organization and long-term change. Humane Canada relies on public donations, member groups, foundation grants, and corporate sponsorship to sustain their vital work.

Humane Canada envisions a humane Canada that sees results within one generation. To achieve this goal, they work diligently to earn their solid reputation as Canada’s national voice for animal welfare. For more information about their works, visit their website at

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