Canada: Overwhelming responses to Pig Code of Practice
Over 4,700 submissions, representing 32,340 individual comments, were received on the draft Code of Practice for the care and handling of pigs when the public comment period closed on 3 August.
Submissions came from across Canada, the United States and around the world. Producers, processors, veterinarians, animal welfare advocates, the general public and many others contributed valuable input that will now be considered by the pig Code Development Committee.
“The response has been tremendous. The National Farm Animal Care Council appreciates the level of engagement across interest groups and constructive input that so many provided in their submissions,” says Jackie Wepruk, NFACC General Manager.
The pig Code Development Committee met for two days this week to consider the submissions made through the public comment period and work toward a final Code. The diversity of views, complexity of the issues and sheer volume of comments, made finishing the Code within a two day meeting challenging.
“The Code Development Committee is engaging in rigorous dialogue to ensure the range of views is being given fair consideration,” says Wepruk. “The committee is positive about the progress made. However, more time will be required for deliberations. NFACC is committed to ensuring the necessary resources are in place to make this happen.” A November meeting is planned.
Codes of Practice represent our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices. They are developed utilising a multi-stakeholder, consensus based process that involves producers, processors, veterinarians, animal welfare researchers, animal welfare advocates, governments and other expertise in animal welfare. This collective decision-making model enables informed discussion on animal welfare issues that leads to realistic outcomes for real and continuous improvements in animal welfare.
The public comment period is an important component of the Code development process. It provides an opportunity for individuals and organisations to provide constructive input that will further ensure Canadian Codes of Practice for the care and handling of livestock and poultry are practical and implementable by producers and reflect societal expectations regarding farm animal care.
Funding for the Codes of Practice is provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund, under the Addressing Domestic and International Market Expectations Relative to Farm Animal Welfare initiative, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.
For more info:National Farm Animal Care Council
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