Media Release: Group Marches for Pen Herd Sanctuary

Immediate Release
8 December 2017


KINGSTON, ONTARIO – A group of Kingstonians will be marching from Collins Bay Institution to the office of MP Mark Gerretsen on Friday December 15th in a symbolic move to deliver a 10,000 signature petition calling for sanctuary for the Pen Herd cows as part of a restored prison farm program.

The march is being organized by Evolve Our Prison Farms, a Kingston-based coalition promoting innovative plant-based agriculture and sanctuary for any animals brought onto prison farms for rehabilitative programming.

Before being shuttered by Harper’s Conservative government, prison farms in Canada involved meat and dairy operations, like the ones at Collins Bay Institution and Joyceville Institution. This model involved prisoners in forcibly inseminating cows, separating newborn calves from their mothers, shipping male calves to slaughter, and slaughtering cows once their milk productivity declines at 5-7 years of age, out of a 20 year natural lifespan.

Evolve Our Prison Farms asserts that this form of agriculture is in clear and direct conflict with rehabilitative and therapeutic goals, and should not be reintroduced. It is also an inefficient and environmentally unsustainable form of food production. Animal agriculture has been flagged by the United Nations as one of the most significant global contributors to climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, pollution, deforestation and soil degradation.

While the government deliberates on which model to adopt, public awareness is rapidly growing around issues of animal justice, prisoner justice and environmental justice, all of which converge on the prison farms.

Supporters of sanctuary for the Pen Herd cows are invited to gather across the street from Collins Bay Institution at 3:00PM, beside Sakura Japanese Restaurant (1350 Bath Rd). The march from the prison to MP Gerretsen’s office will begin at 3:15PM. The petition will be submitted at 4:00PM. Anyone unable to march is invited to hold vigil outside Gerretsen’s office as of 3:30PM to welcome the marchers as they arrive.

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Media Contact: Calvin Neufeld,, 877-312-1718