Canadians have demonstrated their interest in being able to purchase fresh, high-quality, Canadian-grown chicken and our farmers are proud to produce the chicken that consumers are asking for.
As part of this dedication, Chicken Farmers of Canada created an auditable Animal Care Program designed to demonstrate and maintain the high animal care standards of Canadian chicken farms.
CFC has communicated the responsibility that farmers have to the birds they raise, to the industry, to their fellow farmers, to their customers and to all Canadian consumers for upholding high principles of animal health and welfare on the farm.
CFC Animal Care Program
The program is based on the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens and Turkeys. CFC worked with the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) to update the Code, and the new version was released in June 2016. For more on the Code of Practice, click here.
The Animal Care Program emphasizes proper animal care throughout each step of the production cycle. The program’s requirements are summarized in this info sheet and detailed in the Animal Care Program Producer Manual, also available in the Resources section of our website. The Animal Care Program has been integrated with on-farm food safety program to be managed under one system. There are many factors that go into making these programs work to ensure credibility and compliance. Click here for more information.
Over 40 stakeholder organizations were consulted during the program development process and, to date, support for the implementation of the program has come from: the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, the Further Poultry Processors Association of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and Restaurants Canada.
Annual Audits and Enforcement
Farmers are audited annually to assess the implementation of the program and determine if the mandatory requirements of the program are being maintained; certification has reached 99%. The other 1% are new farmers who need to collect records for a period of time before their first audit. Both the animal care and food safety programs have strict enforcement measures for additional assurance. For example, monetary penalties, reductions in allocation, or license suspensions can be used to enforce the program. The need for the use of enforcement measures varies by province and has decreased over time.