July 31, 2014 (OTTAWA) — Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) is extremely pleased with the Government of Canada’s announcement of new funding ($2.2 million) for the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), the organization responsible for reviewing the national Codes of Practice for farm animals, via the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC).
NFACC’s members represent 28 different organizations spanning a broad cross-section of the animal agriculture industries and animal welfare groups. NFACC has the mandate to develop and review the Codes of Practice for the care and handling of livestock and to communicate current farm animal welfare activities.
This funding announcement reinforces the importance of having up-to-date Codes of Practice, and the status of Canada’s world class food and agriculture systems. The Codes themselves are reviewed regularly to ensure that high standards for animal care are present in all types of livestock rearing and transport. They also make up the backbone of CFC’s animal care programs.
The Codes are science-based and go through rigorous examination, discussion, and assessment, including a 60-day public comment period. Many different groups are represented on the Codes Committees, including farmers, veterinarians, scientists and researchers, and groups associated with animal health and welfare protection.
“We are pleased that the government has recognized the critical role the Codes of Practice have in maintaining the high standards for animal care on Canadian farms,” said Dave Janzen, Chair of CFC. “The Codes provide us with the ability to create and maintain sound, science-based animal care programs. We have a long history of working together to ensure that chickens are raised with the utmost care and we take pride in the measures we take to ensure the safety, health and well-being of the birds in our care.”
CFC’s Animal Care Program (ACP) is based on the poultry Code of Practice and will be updated to incorporate changes made during this Code revision.
The program is designed to demonstrate and maintain the high animal care standards of Canadian chicken farms. Farmers are audited annually to assess the implementation of the ACP and determine if the mandatory requirements are being maintained. Approximately 95% of Canadian chicken farmers are certified under the ACP.
CFC has been working on the poultry Code review committee during this latest process and has led the charge to updating the Code and ensuring that the highest standards and guidelines are included. The next phase of the Code review process will be launched with this new funding, and it is anticipated that the new Code of Practice for poultry will be completed by early 2016.
The funds announced are from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through their AgriMarketing Program, a part of Growing Forward II.
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