WHY NOT PRISON DAIRY?
PETITION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
ON PRISON FARM REHABILITATION INVOLVING ANIMALS
Presented in the House of Commons May 9 2018
WHEREAS the mandate of Correctional Service of Canada is to support rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into society;
WHEREAS rehabilitation programs that involve animal therapy have been shown to increase empathy, connection, and trust;
WHEREAS animal agriculture is not a model of animal therapy and requires that inmates treat animals as commodities;
WHEREAS Joyceville Institution is slated to house a prison goat dairy operation;
WHEREAS using goats in the dairy industry requires:
– repeated artificial insemination to induce lactation
– removal of newborns so milk can be harvested for human consumption
– slaughter of male kids as an economic drain
– painful disbudding of kids to prevent horn growth
– slaughter of mothers as milk productivity declines;
AND WHEREAS research has connected the harming of animals with increased levels of desensitization, emotional dissonance, violence, PTSD and other forms of trauma in humans, which are in direct conflict with the goals of rehabilitation;
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada:
To discard plans for a goat dairy prison farm at Joyceville Institution; and to prevent use of animals in prisoner rehabilitation programs except under sanctuary or animal therapy models.
The renewal of Canada’s prison farms is a unique opportunity to:
Model environmentally responsible plant-based farming
Produce healthful food for prisoners
Teach life skills and job skills consistent with market trends
Offer compassion-based rehabilitation through sanctuary as prisoner-animal therapy
Examples of successful programs:
Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm provides a haven for animals where inmates are taught how to care for and care about animals in the hopes they will carry that lesson on in their lives once they are released from jail.
Planting Justice is a grassroots organization with a mission to empower people impacted by mass incarceration with the skills and resources to cultivate food sovereignty, economic justice, and community healing.
Farm and Rehabilitation Meals (FARM) is a project that hires inmates as farmers, teaches them sustainable agriculture practices and puts produce on inmates’ cafeteria tables.