The cattle’s exodus from the fields of the Frontenac Institution was hotly contested, with protesters picketing near the facility for the past two days. Despite the uprising, the livestock was successfully moved with the help of a large police presence, CBC News reports.
Members of the Save Our Prison Farms campaign oppose the move to close all farms on correctional facilities by March 2011. It was a decision made by the Correctional Services Department last year after officials decided the funds allotted to the farming program would be better used to “provide more relevant employment skills” to rehabilitate prisoners, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
It’s been longer than a year now that protesters have been campaigning to keep the farm open. “We think that the farms provide an effective training and rehabilitation program for inmates,” explains Dianne Dowling of the National Farmer’s Union in the Citizen. “It also provides food for the prison system at a lower cost than it can buy on the market, and of course it protects valuable farm land for the public. It teaches inmates a variety of employment skills as well as “soft skills” like co-operation, teamwork and responsibility.”
The approximately 300 cows are up for auction today, Aug. 10, at the Ontario Livestock Exchange in Waterloo, Ont.