Alberta-born actress targets gestation crates

Tricia Helfer. (Syfy.com/Battlestar)

An Alberta farm girl better known as a star in Battlestar Galactica and host of Canada’s Next Top Model has added her voice to the opposition to sow gestation crates.

A release from Humane Society International says Tricia Helfer has written to Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Coalition urging that the recently released draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs eliminate gestation crates.

“[M]ost people might not know that I grew up an Alberta farm girl — getting my hands dirty, riding tractors, fixing machinery and more,” the letter says.

“To me, as with most caring Canadians, there’s virtually no more abusive or neglectful way to treat an animal than to lock her in a cage and let her linger, day and night for huge lengths of time, unable to even turn around. This is why I was so heartened to read that NFACC is working to move the Canadian pork industry away from tiny gestation crates for breeding pigs.”

Two of the three largest pork producers in Canada — Olymel and Maple Leaf Foods — have already announced that they will shift away from gestation crates within the next four to nine years. Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, has committed to phasing out the crates in its U.S. operations within four years.

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