The Ontario SPCA launches new SPCA & Humane Society Pet Insurance

STOUFFVILLE, Ontario, Jan. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society believes animals deserve the best care possible, which is why we have decided to relaunch our insurance program with the new SPCA & Humane Society Pet Insurance offered by Petplan®.

By partnering with a global leading pet insurance provider in Petplan, this will ensure pets get the best treatment they need when an unexpected illness or injury occurs. Not only will pet owners enjoy the peace of mind that they’re helping protect their four-legged friends, but they can also feel good knowing that a portion of proceeds go back to SPCA’s and Humane Societies, like the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society to help animals in need.

The coverage through the SPCA & Humane Society Pet Insurance offered by Petplan is as unique as pet owners and their pets and can be customized to fit their needs and budget. It also offers one of the most comprehensive coverages and shortest waiting periods in the industry.

Planning for unforeseen health issues and accidents can help alleviate the financial burden and stress when a pet needs medical attention, giving pet owners peace of mind. According to Petplan claims data, one in three pets makes an unplanned trip to the vet each year—and Canadian pet parents spent an average of $1,103 per pet on unexpected veterinary expenses last year alone!

“As a not-for-profit organization  focused on animal wellness, we encourage pet owners to have a plan in place to ensure they are able to provide the necessary care for their pet should the unexpected occur,” says Daryl Vaillancourt, Chief of Humane Programs & Community Outreach, Ontario SPCA. “One of the best ways pet owners can help their pets, and protect themselves from unexpected costs, is pet insurance.”

Petplan is the pet insurance that’s trusted by shelters and helps animals in need. To get a quote or to learn more about the new SPCA & Humane Society Pet Insurance offered by Petplan visit gopetplan.ca/spcahs.

The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society

The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is a registered charity, established in 1873. The Society and its network of animal welfare communities facilitate and provide for province-wide leadership on matters relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals and the promotion of animal well-being. Offering a variety of mission-based programs including community-based sheltering, animal wellness services, provincial animal transfers, shelter health & wellness, high-volume spay/neuter services, animal rescue, animal advocacy, Indigenous partnership programs and humane education, the Ontario SPCA is Ontario’s animal welfare charity.

Petplan

Petplan has built an industry-leading pet insurance policy for pet parents who demand a higher pedigree of care for their best friends. We’ve leveraged 40 years of global experience to create completely customizable coverage pet parents can feel confident in, and world-class claims service — 24 hours a day, every day.

Petplan’s innovative approach to pet insurance has been recognized by Forbes, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Inc. magazine, Smart CEO, the Communicator Awards, Ernst & Young and many others.

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Time to buy cattle price insurance

Market Update: Cow-calf producers should sell their feeders with the lofty futures and historically strong basis

By  | Grain News

Alberta packers were buying fed cattle in the range of $151 to $153 on a live basis in mid-October, up approximately $10 from a month earlier. While Alberta prices have been percolating higher, fed cattle values in Kansas have hovered around US$111 on a live basis over the past four weeks. Market-ready supplies of fed cattle in Western Canada appear to be tightening due to lower placements earlier in the spring. This has caused the Alberta fed cattle basis to strengthen.

Yearling prices continue to trade near 52-week highs. Medium- to larger-frame average-flesh 850-pound mixed steers were actively trading in the range of $203 to $210 in southern Alberta. Drier conditions throughout the summer caused cow-calf producers to market feeder cattle sooner than normal. This means available feeder cattle supplies in October and November are lower than anticipated.

U.S. cattle-on-feed inventories continue to run five to six per cent above year-ago levels. It appears fourth-quarter beef production will come in 200 million pounds above last year; similar year-over-year increases are expected in the first three quarters of 2019.

In Kansas, the fed cattle market has hovered around $111 on a live basis which is similar to the average price during October of 2017. The year-over-year increase in demand has offset the rise in production resulting in a similar price structure. Restaurant spending during October and November is expected to finish 10 per cent above last year while retail expenditures are projected to be up three to four per cent.

While the U.S. market has traded in a sideways range, Alberta fed cattle prices have been ratcheting higher through October. I want to draw attention to the placement by weight category during March and April. During March, placements in the 600- to 699-pound category were down 9,467 head from last year; during April, placements in the 700- to 799-pound category were down 11,379 head from April of 2017. This has resulted in lower market-ready supplies of fed cattle during October.

The Alberta and Saskatchewan cattle market has actually divorced from the U.S. for the time being. Basis levels for fed cattle are abnormally high due to the abnormal placement schedule during February through March. Secondly, strong fed-cattle prices in October have caused the feeder cattle basis to also reach historical highs.

Signal to sell

For cow-calf producers, a historically strong basis along with feeder cattle futures near 52-week highs is a signal to sell your feeder cattle. I also want to point out that the April live cattle futures have traded as high as $125 in early October. Over the past year, the live cattle futures have $101 and $130. The risk/reward suggests that there is more downside risk than upside, especially with the year-over-year increase in production.

Backgrounding operators will want to buy price insurance on calves immediately upon purchasing. The March feeder cattle futures reached a high of $155 earlier in October but have since dropped to $148. However, over the past couple of years, the high in the feeder cattle futures has been around $160 but the lows are around $130. It’s prudent to have price insurance this year given the year-over-year increase in the U.S. calf crop. Barley prices are also $50/mt above year-ago levels. The risk reward scenario suggests further downside moving into spring.

The abnormal placement structure during March and April has caused Alberta fed cattle basis to be abnormally strong for October. Feedlots currently have positive margins which has enhanced buying power for replacements. Many cow-calf operators marketed feeder cattle sooner than normal, therefore feeder cattle volumes during October and November are below year-ago levels in Western Canada. These two factors have contributed to the historically strong basis for feeder cattle.

Finally, the April 2019 live cattle futures are trading near 52-week highs which has also caused the November 2018 feeder cattle futures to also trade within the yearly high. Cow-calf producers should sell their feeders with the lofty feeder futures and historically strong basis.

The current environment is also telling backgrounding operators to buy price insurance on their feeder cattle. When you assess the risk/reward, we could see significant downside in the feeder market. The June live cattle futures are trading at a $7 discount to the April contract due to the sharp year-over-year increase in second-quarter beef production.

Introducing Peppermint: Refreshingly Simple Pet Insurance

Petline, the first and only licensed insurance company in Canada to focus solely on pet health insurance, is launching Peppermint, a new pet insurance solution that will help budget-conscious pet owners protect their pets. Peppermint launches today and is available to Canadian pet owners.

“We’re so excited to launch Peppermint to make quality pet insurance more accessible to Canadian pet owners,” said David Fitzpatrick, Vice-President of Petline. “Peppermint is an easy and affordable approach to loving pet care that will make a difference for our customers.”

A refreshingly simple approach

Now pet owners have the power to purchase insurance at a price point that fits their budget. Customers can choose from four different plans (Lite, Base, Plus, and Prime) that start with customized coverage levels for accidents and illness and include special coverage for alternative therapy, behavioural therapy, and medical devices. Pet lovers know that veterinary care isn’t optional. Peppermint offers four options for one reason – to empower the customer by presenting value solutions at a lower cost so they can keep their pets healthy without the financial burden of a ‘what if’.

Here to help

Customer care advocates are available to answer any questions potential customers have. Pet owners can reach the Peppermint team by phone at 1-833-678-6468, by email at hello@mypeppermint.ca or say hello on Facebook or Instagram.

About Petline Insurance Company

As the first and only licensed insurance company in Canada to focus solely on pet insurance, Petline Insurance Company is dedicated to responsible pet ownership. We help Canadian pets live longer and healthier lives by enabling their owners to provide the best in pet health care. Our core brand is Petsecure pet health insurance. We also underwrite Pet Insurance for Hudson’s Bay customers, Desjardins Pet Insurance Program, The Personal Pet Insurance Program, OVMA Pet Health Insurance, Nova Scotia SPCA Pet Health Insurance, Toronto Humane Society Pet Health Insurance and CAA pet insurance. Petline is a member of the Economical Insurance group of companies and includes: Economical Mutual Insurance, Family Insurance Solutions Inc. and Sonnet Insurance Company.

SOURCE Economical Insurance

BC SPCA: Helping your pets in an air quality advisory

As air quality advisories come up across the province due to wildfires, it’s worth taking precautions to ensure our pets are as comfortable as humans are in the haze and summer heat.

When air quality advisories are issued, many of the same warnings for humans tend to apply for cats, dogs and other animals. This would include avoiding any vigorous exercise, and continuing to stay cool and hydrated.

As most animals tend to spend their time closer to ground, they are usually spared – since smoke is likely to hover higher in the air. Certain animals like cats, can be exposed to smoke by they groom themselves, with smoke potentially sticking to their hair.

There are, however, certain dog breeds that are more prone to having issues in smoky conditions. One example includes dogs that are brachycephalic – these are dogs with shorter faces. Brachycephalic dogs are already at risk for respiratory complications, so anything that could compromise their breathing could be a serious concern.

In conditions like where heat and smoke are involved, if you must take your dog outside, it’s best to do so in the hours where the sun isn’t so high – be that early in the morning, or later on in the evening. Animals should always have access to fresh, potable water and plenty of shade, especially if they tend to spend much of their time outside.

You should also be watching for any unusual signs or behaviours. If you need more information, or have any concerns about your animal’s health, please contact your local veterinarian for assistance.

Source: BC SPCA

ICBC & BC SPCA urge pet guardians to Drive Smart by keeping pets safe on summer road trips

According to a recent survey of ICBC’s customers*, 40 per cent of pet guardians plan to bring their pet on a road trip this summer. With only half of guardians saying they own a vehicle restraint or safety device for their pet, ICBC and the BC SPCA are urging drivers to drive smart and consider the safety of their pets when riding in a vehicle.

Of all pet guardians surveyed, only half (52 per cent) own a safety device, with cat guardians (85 per cent) more likely to own one over dog guardians (45 per cent). Cat guardians were also more likely to be consistent with its use – 87 per cent said they ‘always’ use a restraint versus dog guardians at 55 per cent. The reasons given for those that never or rarely used a restraint include that their pet is calm, that it’s safe for a pet to be loose, and that the trip is short.

ICBC and the BC SPCA recommend always using some form of safety restraint whenever travelling with a pet, even for mild-mannered pets or when running a quick errand around town. In the event of a crash, a loose animal can fly forward in your vehicle, causing further injury to themselves and to others in the vehicle. Pet harnesses/safety belts and hard-shell crates secured down are sound options.

To keep this member of the family safest, pets should never sit in the front seat, but be secured in the back seat or cargo area of an SUV or van. Most pet guardians reported that their pet rode in the back seat (50 per cent), while 18 per cent said their pet rode in the front seat, and 16 per cent rode in the cargo area.

Guardians should also take steps to prevent their pet from becoming a distraction to drivers. Distraction is the second-leading contributing cause of fatal crashes in B.C., killing 78 people a year. While three-quarters of respondents agreed that playing with a pet while driving is distracting, some pet guardians admitted to the following actions while driving:

  • Used arms to restrain pet’s movements when putting on the brakes, 14 per cent

  • Used arms to keep pet from climbing from the back seat to the front seat, 13 per cent

  • Reached into the back seat to interact with pet, 12 per cent

  • Allowed pet to sit on their lap, or held pet while driving, five per cent

  • Gave food to pet while driving, five per cent

  • Played with pet, 2 per cent

  • Taken a photo of pet, 1 per cent

Quotes:

“Part of driving smart is making sure everyone in the vehicle – including pets, are secured before leaving home,” said Lindsay Matthews, interim vice president responsible for road safety. “In the event of a crash, this prevents passengers from incurring further injury, while keeping the pet safe, too.”

“Many drivers consider a pet as part of their family,” said Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA. “And as with any loved one that rides in your vehicle, we hope drivers will take steps to keep their dog or cat seated, secure and safe during every drive.”

One customer wrote, “A far greater concern I have relates to the distraction pets cause to the driver and thus danger to pedestrians and other members of the motoring public. I have witnessed persons driving, holding the dog or cat between themselves and the steering wheel. This does not provide any safety to the animal and certainly impedes the driver’s ability to adequately react.”

Drive Smart tips for pet guardians:

Tip #1: Use a safety device to protect your pet. Loose animals in the event of crash can become a projectile, injuring themselves and others in the vehicle. Animals can also pose a safety risk for first responders, as a disoriented and injured animal may try to attack an attendant or even cause another crash by running into traffic.

Tip #2: Let your dog be the backseat driver. Pets are safest when secured in the back seat or cargo area. For the same reason ICBC discourages children under 12 from sitting in the front seat of vehicle, the same safety risks of a deployed air bag can have devastating consequences for animals as well.

Tip #3: Prevent pet distraction by packing the essentials. Keep pets content by bringing food, water, dishes, bedding and toys. For road trips, it’s best to stock your vehicle with a pet first-aid kit. And plan for a pit stop every few hours – it’s good for drivers and pets alike to stretch and get fresh air.

Tip #4: Keep pets inside the vehicle while driving. While it’s tempting to let your dog hang his head out the window for the breeze, this can lead to eye injuries due to weather, heavy wind, fly debris or objects coming close to your vehicle. Disable your power windows to prevent your dog from accidentally opening a window, causing it to escape or have the window close on its neck.

Tip #5: Do not drive with your pet on your lap. This can prevent you from having full control of your vehicle. Your pet could also be seriously injured or killed by a deployed airbag in the event of a crash. Drivers can be ticketed for driving with ‘without due care and attention’, with a fine of $368 and six penalty points which comes with a fine of $300.

Tip #6: Secure your pet if travelling in the back of a pick-up truck. It is illegal and dangerous to travel with an unsecured pet in the exterior of a truck. If you must transport your pet in the back of a truck, the safest method is in a secured crate in the centre of your truck box. Learn more on the BC SPCA’s website.

Tip #7: If you’re not in the car, your dog shouldn’t be either. Vehicles can quickly heat up in summer weather, and can endanger your pet’s health. Even a car parked in the shade with the windows cracked open can get hot enough to cause heatstroke or death of an animal.

Visit the BC SPCA’s website or ICBC’s pet travel page for more safety tips.

*ICBC Customer Advisory Panel survey, taken June 2018, 1,557 total participants, 45 per cent identified as pet owners.

No reported right whale deaths in Canadian waters so far in 2018, officials say

By Keith Doucette

THE CANADIAN PRESS

HALIFAX _ There have been no reported deaths of North Atlantic right whales in Canadian waters this year _ with dozens of the endangered mammals spotted amid strict fishing and vessel speed restrictions, federal officials say.

There were 12 whale deaths last year in Canadian waters, half of those in June.

“Earlier in the year there was a report in the United States of one (death) … but in Canadian waters there have been none,” said Adam Burns, director general of fisheries resource management at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

At least 18 right whales have been found dead overall in Canadian and U.S. waters since 2017, likely due to rope entanglements and ship collisions.

DFO said Thursday that aerial surveillance had so far detected at least 75 whales in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

“This number likely underestimates the total number of right whales that may be present in the southern Gulf or in Canadian waters at this time,” said Jean Landry, the department’s director of marine mammal science.

Landry said observers had logged 371 flying hours since early April, more than last year’s total by science aircraft.

Meanwhile, DFO has temporarily closed 4,600 square kilometres of the Gulf and another 780 square kilometres in the Roseway Basin off Nova Scotia’s southern coast to non-tended fixed gear fisheries such as snow crab and lobster.

The closures have drawn the ire of some lobster fishermen, who say the latest closures have squeezed them into tight proximity in zones that are already heavily fished.

Nearly 500 brought empty lobster traps to Caraquet, N.B., on Thursday to protest against the continuing closures. They created a wall of traps outside a building where Acadie-Bathurst Liberal MP Serge Cormier has an office.

But with the lobster and snow crab seasons set to wrap up at the end of this month, Burns said DFO isn’t about to relent on urgent measures, given the unprecedented number of right whale deaths last year.

“These measures have a real impact on fish harvesters, processors, and communities in Atlantic Canada; however the long-term economic risks of not adequately protecting North Atlantic right whales is greater,” Burns said.

He said there has already been a temporary suspension of Marine Stewardship Council certification for the snow crab fishery in the southern Gulf, and additional trade and eco-certification impacts could result in “long term serious economic impacts to coastal communities in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.”

Still the industry continues to speak out with an eye to the future after reports of lobster landings that are down by as much as 25 per cent in some areas.

Groups such as the Maritime Fishermen’s Union and the Pecheurs professionnels du Sud de la Gaspesie have said frustration is mounting after Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc decided not to exempt waters up to 10 fathoms deep from the closures.

LeBlanc has said he isn’t insensitive to fishermen’s concerns and Ottawa is considering ways to alleviate the economic hardship. That includes measures to help processing plant workers qualify for Employment Insurance, and a possible fall opening of the lobster fishery to make up for lost days.

The Lobster Council of Canada called for measures that balance protection with the impact on fishermen.

“While we all agree we must do what we can to ensure the protection of the North Atlantic right whale, we believe we must continue to monitor the impact many of these mitigation measures are having on the people and communities that rely on the lobster fishery for their livelihood,” council executive director Geoff Irvine said in a news release Wednesday.

“We need to continue to look for the right balance to allow the fishery to continue while ensuring the right whale’s protection.”

Meanwhile, Transport Canada provided statistics on its mandatory slow-down area in the western Gulf, where vessels of 20 metres or larger are limited to a speed of 10 knots.

Luc Brisebois, executive director of marine safety and security, said 1,085 vessels have been monitored to date. Of that number, 106 were recorded above the speed limit.

“Out of those 106, there were 84 deemed non-violation,” Brisebois said, for issues related to time at speed, and the effects of weather or sea conditions.

He said 21 cases are still under review, but since the slowdown was implemented April 28 only one vessel has been found in violation, resulting in a $6,000 fine.

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