Dec 08, 2023

Animal welfare is of the utmost importance to Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) and its members. When concerns involving animal care are identified in Ontario’s beef sector, BFO acknowledges its responsibility to consider and offer its perspective to members, the broader agriculture industry and the general public. BFO is respectful of the leadership roles of the government agencies charged with monitoring animal care in Ontario.

BFO supports the National Farm Animal Care Council’s Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle as the minimum acceptable standard of animal care for beef cattle in Ontario. BFO expects all members to take responsibility in their role as beef farmers for the welfare of their animals and for the reputation and positioning of the Ontario beef sector as proactive and principled when it comes to animal care. BFO does not support farmers who do not fulfill this responsibility to their animals and the public.

The Ontario Beef Helpline is a confidential “farmer helping farmer” approach administered together by the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) and Farm & Food Care Ontario. It provides a confidential way for people to report situations of beef animals that they feel require better care. BFO has trained Animal Care Advisors (ACA) covering all areas of the province, who respond to these situations by meeting with each farmer to discuss animal care issues and offer practical advice or necessary assistance to correct the situation if there is a problem. The ACA then reports back details from his/her visit to BFO and Farm & Food Care who, in turn, will relay this information back to the caller if they are interested.

Helpline calls are accepted at the Farm & Food Care office at 519-837-1326, during regular office hours, typically Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Callers are asked to provide specific and detailed information necessary to pursue the case. The information about the case, but not the name of the caller, is then passed on to the Beef Farmers of Ontario for follow-up and/or visit.

Anyone who is having difficulties meeting acceptable levels of care and management for their farm animals and anyone else who witnesses situations where animals are not being properly cared for are encouraged to use this service.

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