Meristem Land and Science: Driving Progress in Sustainability


2014 VeriCare Live


Codes of Practice

This section last updated: March 3, 2014

Supporting responsible animal care practices that are clear and consistent across the country

Courtesy Canada Beef Inc.

There is no question that farm animal care has never been higher profile or more important to the success of livestock producers and their industry.

There's more awareness, greater expectations and a swath of new progress and developments with implications for producers, industry, government, the research and academic communities and a range other farm animal care stakeholders. Producers and industry are challenged to address questions and rising expectations from consumers, the marketplace and society in general, both domestically and internationally.

So how does Canada develop and implement a game plan for success in this new environment?

There is a range of activity underway at different levels of industry, the value chain, and beyond that is helping to shape Canada's approach. But clearly one of the most important and potentially most powerful components is an effort involving multi-stakeholders at a national level to develop updated Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals.

National understanding of requirements

This effort has been led the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), through a science-informed, consensus-based approach that is driven by the active participation of relevant stakeholder groups.

"The Codes" serve as the national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices, providing a unified basis for industry standards and the opportunity to develop on farm assessment programs. They are designed to offer a credible way for Canada to show the world how it addresses farm animal care. They also have an important role in education and training, as well as in providing a focus for continual innovation and improvement.

Codes for different species

A lot of progress on the Codes has been accomplished over the past several years, including work on nine different species-specific guidelines.

Five Codes have now been completed and released under the current project, including Codes for Mink, Fox, Equine, Beef Cattle and Sheep. The Pig Code is now in the final stage of completion. And development has recently started on two more Codes, including one for Chickens-Turkeys-Breeders and one for Poultry-Layers.

Each of the newly updated Codes are available electronically at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice. Complete information on Codes development, including Scientific Review, Code Development Committee and Public Comment Period components, is also available on the NFACC website, www.nfacc.ca.

The Latest – Thinking. Ideas. Developments.

Codes of Practice: Windows on an evolving world

This section last updated: March 2, 2014

Note: This section is regularly updated with new stories. Check back regularly for the most recent version of this VeriCare Live report.

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Crossing the finish line on the Pig Code

National framework, Codes and assessments fuel progress in farm animal care

Beef Code hits the ground

Canada tackles bold new blueprint for farm animal welfare

Pig Code at the crossroads

Getting to the meat of the new beef Code

The Codes 101: What producers need to know

What people are saying

Perspectives on progress

This section last updated: March 1, 2014

"The Codes are guidelines designed to support responsible livestock welfare practices and keep everyone involved in livestock care and handling on the same page. They also provide a clear reference livestock industries can point to in addressing questions and rising expectations from consumers, the marketplace and society in general, both domestically and internationally."
– Jackie Wepruk, manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council

"Updating the Beef Code has been a very important step. It reinforces how we do things and the importance of animal care to both the animals and their owners. The Code also provides a basis for the conversation we have with the people we sell to and the people they sell to, to show how we care for our animals."
– Ryder Lee, Manager of Federal Provincial Relations, Canadian Cattlemen's Association

"It critical we do what's right by the animals and we address what's expected of us from the general public. Also just as important is to have something that is workable and makes sense for our producers. The Pig Code is very important as a building block to a successful and sustainable future for our industry."
– Florian Possberg, Chair of the Pig Code Committee

"The development of this new Equine Code is perhaps the most important project in recent Canadian history for the health and welfare of equines in Canada. This is a Code of Practice we can all be proud to have. It is among the most comprehensive of equine Codes internationally, and will serve a vital role across our diverse industry."
– Jack de Wit, Director with the Equine Canada Board of Directors and Chair of the Code Development Committee

"Our industry's participation in the Code development process demonstrates our producers continued commitment to animal health and welfare, and dedication to responsible animal husbandry."
– Corlena Patterson, Executive Director of the Canadian Sheep Federation


Contact Meristem for more information on the initiative and partnering opportunities.