By Bruce Cochrane
The general manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council says the proposed updated Pig Code of Practice has generated a greater level of public response than any other code currently being updated.
The Pig Code of Practice is one of eight codes of practice for the care and handling of farmed livestock in Canada in the process of being updated.
The National Farm Animal Care Council released its draft pig code June 1, marking the start of a 60 public comment period that ends August 3.
NFACC general manager Jackie Wepruk says, with just over two weeks left to make comments over three thousand submissions have already been received.
Jackie Wepruk-National Farm Animal Care Council:
The pig code public comment period has certainly generated more interest than any other code we've been updating so far.
Certainly most of the interest has focused around what the code development committee has proposed relative to gestation stalls, the transitioning toward group housing systems but maintaining some limited use of sow stalls.
This has become a very public issue with many stories in agricultural media and even celebrity editorials getting a lot of attention on this particular topic.
On the one hand we're hearing, particularly in the media, that the code has gone too far.
On the other we have campaigns going on suggesting that this draft does not go far enough by allowing limited use of stalls.
However I have read at least one media editorial that suggested that the code looks reasonable and sensible so the sentiment really covers the spectrum and I think that what you're seeing in the various media reports reflects what we're also seeing in the public comment period as well.
Wepruk notes members of the code Pig Code Development Committee itself engaged in many of these same debates and they did find consensus.
She suggests the bigger challenge is going to be to achieve that consensus beyond the Pig Code Development Committee.