By Bruce Cochrane
The general manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council says Canada's process for updating codes of practice for the care and handling of farmed animals has proved highly successful.
Since 2009 codes of practice for the care and handling of dairy cattle, swine, equine, beef cattle, mink, fox and sheep have been updated, codes for poultry meat birds including chicken, turkey and hatching eggs and another for layers are in the process of being updated and requests have been received for updating the codes of practice for veal, rabbits and bison.
Jackie Wepruk, the general manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council, says industry groups that have updated their codes have done so to demonstrate their commitment to the care of their animals but also to provide producers with a clear reference for meeting today's expectations that are informed by the best science and to ensure standards for animal care remain practical for producers to implement.
Jackie Wepruk-National Farm Animal Care Council:
I think we certainly have achieved far more and gone further than anyone could gave ever imagined first off.
I think what's really been integral is the relationships that have been built and strengthened through all of these successful code updates.
The dedication of the individuals that have sat on these code development committees has been really tremendous and humbling.
We have probably close to 24 thousand professional hours logged by code development committee members in updating all of these codes.
I don't think anywhere else in the world do you see such an effort by such diverse groups to really work together toward a common goal of good animal welfare.
In my opinion this is by far the most effective approach for truly addressing animal welfare in a meaningful way and I think it sends the message to all stakeholders that we can accomplish so much more when we work together and focus on what we have in common rather than if we focus on our differences.
Wepruk says work is expected to begin on the two poultry codes soon and, while everyone is anxious to finish them as quickly as possible, predicting time lines is difficult but she hopes both of those codes will be ready to go to their public comment periods within the next year.