Don’t Let British Columbia Hide Animal Disease in Agriculture

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Target: British Columbia Premier Christy Clark

Goal: Don’t hide animal disease outbreaks from the public.

Under the new Animal Health Act in British Columbia, outbreaks of disease in farm animals and seafood will be hidden from the public. Any individual who releases such information could face heavy fines and even prison. The government of British Columbia must not allow this law of secrecy to pass.

The Animal Health Act will specifically override the Information and Protection of Privacy Act, stating that a person must refuse ‘to disclose information that would reveal that a notifiable or reportable disease is or may be present in a specific place’. Violations of this particular section can result in fines of $75,000 and up to two years in prison. The act seeks to silence information that is relevant to public health – information that every consumer has the right to know. Disease outbreaks should be treated with prompt and full disclosure to reassure the public that the government is responding to health threats in a timely and thorough manner.

The Animal Health Act must not pass with this restriction in place. It violates the public’s right to know about the goods they consume and promotes secrecy between the government and the people. By signing the petition below, you can ask Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, to reject the Animal Health Act in its current form.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Premier Clark,

The new Animal Health Act is a threat to the rights of your citizens. As consumers, they have the right to be fully informed of outbreaks in the food supply. The section of the act that prohibits public disclosure of agricultural disease is a serious blow to the relationship between your citizens and your government, promoting secrecy instead of trust. It suggests that public officials have something to hide.

As their leader, your citizens rely on you to look out for their best interests. They trust that their government will conduct its work with integrity and full disclosure. Please continue to foster this trust by maintaining open and honest communication. Reject the Animal Health Act until the section that prohibits public information of animal disease is removed.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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