Justice advocacy group Evolve Our Prison Farms (EOPF) recently launched a resistance movement to protest the use of animal-factory farms at Canadian prisons. Last year, the Government of Canada invested $4.3 million to re-open prisoner-staffed dairy farms at two prisons in Kingston, ON, which will be used to export products such as raw goat milk for Chinese infant formula. The farms were closed in 2010 after being deemed ineffective at rehabilitating prisoners. EOPF is calling on the Canadian government “to establish prison farms that prioritize ecological sensitivity and climate change solutions, and to prevent the use of animals in rehabilitation programs except under sanctuary or animal-therapy models.” Activist Calvin Neufeld and his mother Franceen Neufeld began EOPF in 2016 with a few prison farm activists and academics and it has since expanded to include thousands of people from across Canada. The campaign involves holding weekly vigils in front of one of the Kingston prisons. EOPF has also submitted three petitions with more than 14,000 signatures to the Government of Canada, mailed more than 17,000 postcards from citizens and prisoners across Canada, and, last month, emailed 1,000 correspondences with EOPF’s message that “Canadians want ethical prisons.” “It’s time to Evolve Our Prison Farms,” Neufeld said. “In light of the climate emergency, Canada’s new food guide, and evolving social attitudes towards prison labor and animal welfare, prison farms should adopt an innovative approach to penal agriculture and a no-kill approach to animal therapy.”

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