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.
Chicken Farmers of Canada 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.
Chicken Farmers of Canada Animal Care Program
Canadian chicken farmers work hard each day to provide the best possible care for their birds, and to ensure their health and welfare. Chicken Farmers of Canada’s Animal Care Program is a clear demonstration of their commitment to animal care. Chicken Farmers of Canada has implemented a strong program and certification process and it is the only program capable of ensuring that animal care standards are implemented and audited on all chicken farms in Canada. Further to that, the program is a way to provide continuing education to farmers about best practices and to drive innovation and improvement.
The program has credible, science-based foundations in that it is based on the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens and Turkeys. Chicken Farmers of Canada 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 and Program Update, also available in the Resources section of our website. There are many factors that go into making these programs work to ensure credibility and compliance. Click here for more information.
Annual Audits, Third Party 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 100%. 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 for any issues of non-compliance. The need for the use of enforcement measures varies by province and has decreased over time.
The implementation of the program by farmers and the effectiveness of Chicken Farmers of Canada’s audit team are subject to an annual third-party audit. NSF International performs the third-party audits using PAACO (Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization) certified auditors to ensure the effective and consistent implementation of the Chicken Farmers of Canada Animal Care Program.