The Impact of AWFC Grants

In the dedicated pursuit of our mission, the AWFC allocates funds to support diverse projects that progressively achieve positive impacts on the lives of animals.

To provide some measure of how effective the AWFC funding has been in contributing broadly to improving the lives of animals in Canada, in 2015 we decided to conduct an evaluation of the impact achieved by the projects we support each year. We hope by posting this evaluation, we will better inform donors of how your contributions help us help animals.

2016 Impacts

In 2016, AWFC funded six projects to create positive impacts on the welfare of animals:

Farm Animals:

The funding we provided to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies supported input from the animal welfare and protection community into the development of the agriculture industry’s “National Codes of Practice” for improved welfare in the production of poultry and veal calves. The codes for chickens/turkeys, hatching eggs and breeders were released in June 2016, for egg laying hens in March 2017, and the codes for veal calves is expected in the fall of 2017.

Impact: New codes of practice that will eliminate the most inhumane and controversial animal husbandry practices by specific timelines, and improve the quality of life for farm animals.

Companion Animals:

The Canine Action Project (CAP) addresses dog-human issues in indigenous communities in rural Saskatchewan. CAP provides a humane dog management program in these communities, which includes features such as dog bite prevention, dog husbandry, dog population control through spaying and neutering services, and zoonotic disease awareness. AWFC funding helped CAP redesign their website so they could reach more individuals and provide continued updates.

Impact: Cost-effectively educate more people in Saskatchewan and other provinces about dog welfare issues facing indigenous communities and thus improve quality of life for dogs and their guardians.

The funding provided to Paws for Hope allowed the animal welfare/rescue community in British Columbia to come together to plan and explore ideas for a new collaborative working environment. The goal was to increase the impact of these rescue groups through improved collaboration amongst 21 organizations.

Impact: increased efficiency and effectiveness of BC’s rescue organizations and thus improved adoption rates for abandoned animals.

Wildlife:

Funds provided to Wolf Awareness contributed to a research and education partnership project in Alberta. Through an assessment of the scat droppings of wolves and coyotes, the findings determined that livestock is not a key component of the diet of wolves and coyotes, and thus these canids have little impact on livestock predation. These scientific findings support education to both the public and producers about non-lethal methods for preventing conflicts and deterring natural predators from livestock. The findings also support the argument that the culling of and bounties on wolves and coyotes are neither effective deterrents nor are they necessary or even beneficial.

Impact: Educate ranchers on the importance of wolves and coyotes in the ecosystem, help shape a more informed and compassionate attitude to reduce the unnecessary culling of these keystone species.

By helping to fund the Sierra Club’s (Atlantic Chapter) Watch for Wildlife program, they were able to raise awareness of and reduce the impacts of wildlife vehicle collisions on wildlife, people, wildlife rehabilitation organizations, and endangered species. The project also contributed to growing a network of program supporters, and established new public education and outreach opportunities.

Impact: Reduction of vehicle collisions with wildlife and faster response times in getting injured wildlife to a rehabilitation center, and thus saving more lives.

Education:

AWFC provided grants to undergraduate veterinary student animal welfare clubs at four veterinary medical colleges in Canada in 2016. The funding allows the student clubs to bring in external experts to speak on animal welfare issues not covered by their curriculum, as well as host outreach events and animal welfare conferences on campus, and participate in veterinary externships.

Impact: These experiences ensure that veterinary students graduate with a greater knowledge and understanding of animal welfare issues that they can then apply as practicing veterinarians.

Finally, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) held its an annual National Animal Welfare Conference in Toronto in 2016. The focus is on education and networking opportunities for the Canadian animal welfare community. AWFC allocates funds to a travel bursary to enable an individual from a Canadian humane society or SPCA who demonstrates a financial need to attend. More than just financial need, the recipient must also demonstrate how they will incorporate any knowledge gained at the conference to benefit their organization and local community. The 2016 grant was provided to a member of the Red Deer District SPCA.

Impact: Enable humane societies in remote communities and who don’t have a significant source of funds to benefit from the educational and networking opportunities of the national conference.

2015 Impacts

In 2015, AWFC funded eight projects to create positive impacts on the welfare of animals:

Farm Animals:

Agriculture industry standards for the raising and care of farm animals and poultry (termed Codes of Practice) are being cooperatively established under the leadership of the National Farm Animal Care Council, based on science and recommended practices. An AWFC grant to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) funded the participation of species experts from the animal protection movement to contribute to the development of these Codes. In 2015, CFHS experts began providing input to the Codes for the care and handling of poultry and veal calves (a 2-3 year process).

Impact: Having representatives from the humane movement contribute to these discussions contributed to the establishment of a higher level of standards and shorter timeframes for implementation.

Wildlife:

The AWFC provided a grant to Bear Smart to survey current best practices on mitigating human-bear conflicts across North America. By gathering and sharing best practices with other communities, we can better protect bears from harm by avoiding unfortunate and preventable confrontations.

Impact: Reduce the number of human-bear conflicts and the unnecessary culling of bears.

Additionally, AWFC funded a grant to Zoocheck to provide an educational symposium with expert speakers on improving the understanding of animal welfare issues involved in keeping small exotic animal species.

Impact: Reduce the number of people seeking exotic animals as pets.

Animals in Entertainment:

An AWFC grant to the Vancouver Humane Society provided for an independent evaluation of captive marine mammal research, education and conservation programs at Canadian public aquariums. The goal was to determine whether such research programs have any value in actually protecting marine mammals in the wild. The report found there were not any substantive benefits resulting from cetacean captivity accruing to wild cetacean populations.

Impact: In 2016, the report’s findings were presented at a Vancouver Park Board hearing where they, in part, helped the Board reach a unanimous decision to bring forward a bylaw amendment to prohibit the importation and display of live cetaceans in Vancouver parks (e.g. Vancouver Aquarium). 

Also, AWFC provided a grant to Equine Guelph to survey horse rescue farms in Ontario to assess the challenges in providing optimal care and welfare for rescued horses. The information gleaned from this survey was used to develop training materials for farm staff and management. It will also be amalgamated into a Horse Rescue Guidelines document for broad usage with other horse rescue organizations.

Impact: Improve the procedures and welfare of horses at rescue centres in Canada.

Education:

AWFC provides funding for public lectures intended to broaden the knowledge of Canadians on important animal welfare issues. In 2015 this funding was provided for a major public lecture, featuring Dr. Temple Grandin, an internationally recognized animal welfare researcher with particular expertise in the humane handling of cattle. Her lecture addressed “Maintaining High Standards in Animal Welfare”.

Impact: Provides an opportunity for a broad spectrum of students and the general public to learn more about the challenges and successes of maintaining high animal welfare standards in the farm and food industries.

As well, AWFC provided grants to undergraduate veterinary student animal welfare clubs at three veterinary colleges to enhance their recognition and understanding of animal welfare issues. Students may not receive sufficient training in the area of animal welfare science as part of their regular veterinary curriculum, so exposure to specific animal welfare issues at this stage in their education is critical.

Impact: As veterinarians of the future, these students will have a special opportunity to promote an understanding of animal welfare issues to a wide range of Canadians.

Finally, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) held its an annual National Animal Welfare Conference in Vancouver in 2015. The focus is on education and networking opportunities for the Canadian animal welfare community. AWFC allocates funds to a travel bursary to enable an individual from a Canadian humane society or SPCA who demonstrates a financial need to attend. More than just financial need, the recipient must also demonstrate how they will incorporate any knowledge gained at the conference to benefit their organization and local community. The 2015 grant was provided to a member of Kona’s Coalition from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

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Animal Welfare Foundation of Canada
Suite #643 – 280 Nelson Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 2E2
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