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Barbara Cartwright

CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies

An award winning leader in animal welfare, conservation and education, Barbara’s work has spanned five continents and 20 years. Her extensive experience in developing and facilitating relationships with stakeholders including governments, corporations and NGOs has led to innovative programs with dynamic results including working with First Nations to initiate community based companion animal welfare, partnering with the BC government to implement the first grizzly bear rehabilitation program, supporting east coast fishermen to protect the endangered right whale and mobilizing African communities across the continent to conserve chimpanzees. Barbara is sought after for her knowledge of policy and public affairs. She has secured amendments to federal legislation including updates to the Criminal Code, the Migratory Bird Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Barbara has advised some of the top organizations in the world on animal welfare policy direction including working with eBay INC to end the illegal ivory trade on its site worldwide.
Today, as the CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS), Barbara convenes and represents the largest animal welfare community in Canada working to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. She leads the CFHS in fulfilling its mission to create a humane Canada through the successful execution of strategic and business plans. Over the past five years Barbara has launched the National Animal Welfare Conference, the National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty, and the first empirical sector wide research project. She is consulted by all political parties on issues of animal welfare including updating legislation and consulting on policy documents such agricultural and food policy.
Barbara has presented to audiences around the world including to the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada, the all-party International Conservation Caucus, the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as well as at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Congress. She holds a Master’s in Environmental Education and Communication, is a published author, lecturer and received the Governor General’s Gold Medal, as well as the National Environmental Excellence Award. She is the former President of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, an Advisory Council Member for the Pan-African Sanctuary Alliance and currently sits on the PetSmart Charities of Canada Board of Directors. Barbara is a member of Women’s Executive Network, the Council of Women Executives and part of the Distinctive Women network.
Happy World Animal Day -- Let's Stop Puppy

Happy World Animal Day -- Let's Stop Puppy Mills!

October 4 is World Animal Day, a global event celebrating animals big and small, from coast to coast and sea to sea around the world. Here in Canada, almost 30 per cent of households have a dog. They provide companionship, happiness and even therapy to their owners. But we still face a dark problem when choosing where to get our next dog -- puppy mills.
10/04/2014 09:25 EDT
Three Things To Do For Someone Who's About To Lose a

Three Things To Do For Someone Who's About To Lose a Pet

The underlying sentiment is that our dog is going to die anyway so why not relieve ourselves of the discomfort and inconvenience. I have worked with animals and people for decades -- it is both my passion and my career -- so I was caught off-guard when I felt that subtle pressure from mainstream society to put my dog down and move on with life.
04/07/2014 01:08 EDT

It's "Kitten Season" And That's Not a Good Thing

Unfortunately, right now animal shelters across Canada are preparing for what has become known as "kitten season." Unwanted litters of kittens being dumped at humane societies, SPCAs or even in the street or woods has joined April showers and red robins as harbingers of spring. In fact, thousands and thousands of cats and dogs are ending up in Canadian animal shelters every year!
03/24/2014 12:25 EDT
A Brighter Future For Hog

A Brighter Future For Hog Farming

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) is looking forward to a Canada where pigs are raised free from sow stalls and painful practices and today we are one step closer. The new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs which was released today created over 100 clear animal care requirements.
03/06/2014 05:37 EST
Kindness and Cruelty: An Animal Welfare Year in

Kindness and Cruelty: An Animal Welfare Year in Review

Are things getting better or worse for animals in Canada? Here's a list, created by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, of animal welfare advances, setbacks, and issues that just made us shake our heads in sorrow in 2013.
12/21/2013 02:45 EST
Where's the Empathy for Animals Killed at the

Where's the Empathy for Animals Killed at the Stampede?

The death of animals at the Calgary Stampede has become an annual tradition. So what compels people to attend these events, knowing that they will likely see an animal die? It is time for an open conversation about the treatment of animals. If we are to find our empathy we need to see it everywhere.
07/17/2013 05:00 EDT
Love Cat Videos? Prove

Love Cat Videos? Prove it

Who cares about cats? Canadians that's who! With all of this attention on cats, one might assume that cats in Canada would have it pretty good. However, as much as we "enjoy" cats, we just care don't care for them in the same way that we care for dogs. We found that shelters across the country are dangerously over or at capacity to care for cats, and their resources are strained. In fact twice as many cats are surrendered to shelters than dogs!
12/31/2012 12:25 EST
No Justice For the Slaughtered Huskies of

No Justice For the Slaughtered Huskies of B.C.

Robert Fawcett received a sentence of three years' probation for inhumanely slaughtering dogs by gunshots, stabbing and throat slitting as the dogs became uneconomical after the 2010 Olympic tourist trade tapered off in Whistler Village. But the judge's decision seems to have been weighted in favour of Mr. Fawcett's suffering.
11/27/2012 12:03 EST
Maple Lodge Ain't Your Grandmother's

Maple Lodge Ain't Your Grandmother's Farm

The farm is maintaining its innocence after being charged by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for health violations. The poultry industry will tell you they are well regulated, however, this company is a repeat offender -- at the time the criminal charges were laid they had already amassed an astounding $120,600 in fines for previous violations.
02/06/2012 04:25 EST