The past several weeks have seen a series of announcements by fast food companies and food retailers about animal welfare. Some firms are dictating what should happen on farm, others leaving the industry and experts to chart the way forward.
Canadian hog producers are taking an active role in animal welfare on their farms and collectively as an industry. A national Animal Care Assessment program sets out animal care requirements and an oversight system ensures the requirements are being met.
The current focus for the industry is the review of the existing Code of practice for pigs. A revised Code will update guidelines for pig care on housing, health, nutrition and other animal husbandry practices through a multi-stakeholder process.
“As producers, we are always working to ensure the best care for our animals” says Jean-Guy Vincent, president of the Canadian Pork Council. “Updating the Code makes the approach current. If significant changes are determined, we must have the support of many players to implement them - the burden cannot be handled by farmers alone.”