Development process for codes of practice for the care and handling of farm animals

Table of Contents

Introduction and Objectives
Understanding how Codes of Practice are intended to be used
Steps in the National Code Development or Amendment Process
NFACC's Responsibilities
Responsibilities of the Code Committee
Commodity or Specialized Industry Group responsibilities
Code of Practice Format
Code Technical Panels
Interpretation of a Code
Amendments
Errata
Five-year Code review

Appendices

  1. Guiding Principles for Codes of Practice
  2. National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) Code of Practice Development Process – letter of intent
  3. Scientific Committee Terms of Reference
  4. Terms of Reference for Code Committee Chair
  5. Guidance for Code Committee Liaisons
  6. Code Committee Confidentiality Principles
  7. Code Committee Communication Strategy Guidance
  8. Guidelines for Granting Observer Status at Code Committee meetings
  9. NFACC Reporting Form - Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals
  10. NFACC Code Committee Manager – Skill set required
  11. Scientific Committee Support Personnel Terms of Reference
  12. Process and Criteria for Removal or Suspension of a Code Committee member
  13. Code Committee Member Code of Conduct
  14. National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) Code of Practice Amendment Process – letter of intent

 

Introduction and Objectives

The Codes of Practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of the different species of farm animals. They are intended to promote sound management and welfare practices through recommendations and requirements for housing, management, transportation, and other animal husbandry practices.

Initiation of Code development, revision, or amendment remain the responsibility of the national commodity or specialized industry group. The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) will keep a record of Code reviews, revisions, and amendments, encouraging commodities to keep their Code up-to-date and relevant. It is expected that Codes will be maintained such that they remain relevant (see section on Code of Practice maintenance). Production practices, our body of animal welfare knowledge, societal expectations, changes in government policy and international agreements on animal welfare guidelines all have an impact on Code update schedules.

Each Code of Practice is audience specific with the scope related to the particular industry and species involved. Codes of Practice serve multiple purposes including:

  • Providing information and education
  • Serving as the foundation for animal care assessment programs
  • Providing reference materials for regulations.

Appendix A (Guiding Principles for Codes of Practice) offers further information on how these objectives are to be met. The development or update of a Code of Practice is anticipated to be at least a two-year process. Timelines for amendments will vary, but are expected to take less than one year.

The Code Manager, Code Committee Chair, Scientific Committee Chair and Staff Liaisons each play pivotal roles in the Code development process. They must work closely together and are central to the success of the Code. Appendices C, D, E and K provide terms of reference for each. In addition, Appendix M provides a Code of Conduct for Code Committee members.

Understanding how Codes of Practice are intended to be used

The Codes of Practice are the result of a rigorous NFACC Code development process, taking into account the best science available for each species, compiled through an independent peer-reviewed process, along with stakeholder input.  The Code development process also takes into account the practical requirements for each species necessary to promote consistent application across Canada and ensure uptake by stakeholders resulting in beneficial animal outcomes.  Given their broad use by numerous parties in Canada today, it is important for all to understand how they are intended to be interpreted.

The Codes are intended to be used as guides and extension tools in promoting sound animal care practices. Codes should also form the basis of animal care assessment programs.  All elements of the Codes, their implementation and ongoing review by a broad spectrum of stakeholders, experts and other interested parties, are designed to bring about continual improvement in animal welfare outcomes.

Requirements refer to either a regulatory requirement, or an industry imposed expectation outlining acceptable and unacceptable practices and are fundamental obligations relating to the care of animals.Requirements represent a consensus position that these measures, at minimum, are to be implemented by all persons responsible for farm animal care.  When included as part of an assessment program, those who fail to implement Requirements may be compelled by industry associations to undertake corrective actions, or risk a loss of market options.  Requirements also may be enforceable under federal and provincial regulation.

Recommended Practices may complement the Code’s Requirements, promote producer education and can encourage adoption of practices for continual improvement in animal welfare outcomes.  Recommended Practices are those which are generally expected to enhance animal welfare outcomes, but failure to implement them does not imply that acceptable standards of animal care are not met.

Steps in the National Code Development or Amendment Process

The process, as outlined below, is the same for the development of new Codes, Code amendments, and Code updates. Codes should be reviewed every 5 years, amended as necessary, and updated at least every ten years to ensure they are current with government policy/regulations, industry practices, societal expectations, and scientific research. Prior to initiating a request to develop, amend1, or update the Code of Practice the submitter should contact NFACC to discuss feasibility, timelines, funding sources, and any other considerations.

Step One

The national commodity or specialized industry group submits a request to the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) to develop, update, or amend the Code of Practice. Code update or development requests will be accompanied by a signed Code of Practice Development Process Letter of Intent (Appendix B). Code amendment requests will be accompanied by a signed Code of Practice Amendment Process Letter of Intent (Appendix N).

The commodity or specialized industry group is responsible for organizing its Code Committee based on the Guiding Principles of Codes of Practice (Appendix A) and assigning a Chair (see Appendix D for Code Committee Chair Terms of Reference). A Vice-Chair may be named at the discretion of the commodity or specialized industry group. When acting as Chair the Vice-Chair will follow the Code Committee Chair Terms of Reference.

The commodity or specialized industry group will contact a recognized national organization affiliated with NFACC to nominate the Code Committee representative from the required representative groups.

While the process for identifying individual representatives on the Code Committee is led by the commodity or specialized industry group charged with updating or amending the Code the intent is that all organizations represented accept the Code Committee’s composition. A list of all participants on the Code Committee will be presented to all Code Committee members in advance of the first Code Committee meeting. A final list of Code Committee members will be submitted to NFACC. Appendix A Guiding Principles of Codes of Practice provides further guidance. If requested, NFACC will provide assistance to the commodity group as needed in populating the Code Committee.

The selection of Code Committee members is a critically important task. While representatives on the Code Committee are expected to consult with their constituents, they must also be empowered and entrusted to represent and negotiate in the best interests of their constituents.

Prospective Code Committee members should be made fully aware of the Code development process, particularly their responsibilities to the process. Appendices F, G, and M provide additional guidance to committee members.

The commodity or specialized industry group must also assign a liaison person who will work with NFACC’s Code Manager and the Code Committee Chair to maintain communications and act as a key industry point of contact. Other representative groups on the Code Committee may also identify liaisons who may attend committee meetings as an observer, with appropriate notice. See Appendix E, Guidance for Code Committee Liaisons for further information on liaison responsibilities.

At least 30 days in advance of the first Code Committee meeting NFACC will provide a notice on its website advising that the Code is to be developed or revised.

1Note: while amendments may be requested by any NFACC member, the national commodity or specialized industry group must submit the formal request to amend the Code to NFACC.

 Step Two

a) NFACC will strike a Scientific Committee (target of 6 scientists) familiar with research on the care and management of the animals under consideration. NFACC will request two nominations from each of 1) Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, 2) Canadian Society of Animal Science, and 3) Canadian Chapter of the International Society for Applied Ethology. Other professional scientific bodies may be solicited as appropriate (e.g., World Poultry Science Association). This committee will elect its own chair. The Chair of the Code Committee (or designate) will sit on the Scientific Committee as an observer.

The Scientific committee will identify a priority list of issues; 3 – 6 specific and manageable topics that they consider to be particularly important for animal welfare in the species being considered and that will particularly benefit from a review of the available scientific literature. Some priority issues may not be addressed by the Scientific Committee for any number of reasons (e.g., inadequate available research, existing protocols provide good guidance). Welfare issues that are not addressed by the Scientific Committee will still be addressed in the Code’s development.

b) The commodity or specialized industry group’s Code Committee will identify its priority list of welfare issues.

c) The two committees will come together to collectively identify a final list of priority welfare issues for the species within the Code being addressed.

Step Three

Following the Scientific Committee Terms of Reference (Appendix C), the Scientific Committee will then write a review of the scientific literature for each priority welfare issue.

Step Four

After the Scientific Committee has finished its report it will be made available to the Code Committee to ensure that the report answers the questions originally posed relating to the priority welfare issues. The Scientific Committee report will be peer reviewed and made publicly available no later than when the Code is released for its 60-day public comment period.

Step Five

The Code Committee will be responsible for drafting the Code by utilizing the Scientific Committee report and following the Guiding Principles for Codes of Practice (Appendix A). The Scientific Committee will continue to consult with the Code Committee as needed. The Chair of the Scientific Committee will sit on the Code Committee. The Code Committee should consult as required with their constituents to arrive at a final draft of the Code utilizing NFACC’s communications guidance (see Appendix F: Code Committee Confidentiality Principles and Appendix G: Code Committee Communication Strategy Guidance).

Observers at Code Committee meetings can play an important role in building the necessary awareness and buy-in for the Code to secure its ultimate success. The participation of observers is at the discretion of the Code Committee (see Appendix H, Guidelines for Granting Observer Status). Observers are also subject to the confidentiality principles outlined in Appendices F and G.

Step Six

The final draft Code of Practice will be submitted to NFACC. NFACC will make the draft available to the public for a 60-day comment period. A system for providing submissions will be made available for the public comment period to facilitate the organization and consideration of feedback received by the Code Committee.

Step Seven

Following the 60-day public comment period the Code Committee will consider any feedback, revise the draft if required and submit a final Code (or Code amendment) to NFACC for formatting and publication. The Code Committee will also use the Public Comment Period Summary template to summarize the kind of feedback received on the draft Code and how the Code Committee considered this feedback. The Code Committee Chair will complete and return the Code Reporting Form (Appendix I), which will provide NFACC with sufficient information to determine that the NFACC Code process was followed. If the Code of Practice process was appropriately followed, NFACC will support the Code or amendment. A motion to approve the Code by the national commodity or specialized industry group is common. This motion should be a formality and should not delay the Code’s publication (see Commodity or Specialized Industry Group Responsibilities).  

Note: In the event of contingencies causing delays in the Code development process, the Code Committee must notify NFACC as soon as possible. NFACC will work with the Code Committee to identify means of resolving any issues and address budgetary impacts.

NFACC’s Responsibilities

NFACC will:

  • Provide secretariat support for the Scientific Committee
  • Provide secretariat support for the Code Committee to ensure the Code is completed in a timely fashion;
  • Provide a Manager for the Code Committee, See Appendix J, NFACC Code Committee Manager – Skill set required
  • Develop a project schedule with target dates for milestones including, finalization of the Scientific Committee report, public comment period, final edits and preparation of the Code (e.g., translation), and publication.
  • Host the public comment period process
  • Coordinate the translation and publication of a new or revised Code of Practice or amendment
  • Make Codes of Practice and any amendments available on its website
  • Work with the national commodity association or specialized industry group and other stakeholders to keep Codes relevant (see Code of Practice Maintenance Process)

NFACC will pay approved expenses for (a budget will be developed for each Code):

  • Scientific Committee meeting related expenses, including supplies, room rental, hospitality, travel expenses. Receipts must be provided for reimbursement;
  • Remuneration and expenses for a Scientific Committee research reviewer/writer with the appropriate science background to compile and synthesize information into a report.
  • Code Committee meeting related expenses, including supplies, hospitality, and travel expenses. Receipts must be provided for reimbursement;
  • Remuneration and expenses for the Code Manager.
  • Translation of drafts and final Code
  • Printed copies (English & French) of a new or revised Code or amendment

Note:  NFACC’s ability to cover these expenses is ultimately tied to available funding. NFACC reserves the right to further limit maximum expenses allowed as funding dictates. NFACC will advise the commodity or specialized industry group of any required adjustments to the Code development budget.

Responsibilities of the Code Committee

The selection of Code Committee members is a critically important task. While representatives on the Code Committee are expected to consult with their constituents, they must also be empowered and entrusted to represent and negotiate in the best interests of their constituents.

Responsibilities include:

  • Represent the interests of their respective nominating organization, collaborate with other committee members and contribute to the development of the Code of Practice (Appendix A provides more information on guiding principles and participation);
  • Consult with their national constituent organization as needed to ensure acceptance and understanding of the Code. Where no national body exists, the Code Committee member should consult with an appropriate provincial or regional constituent organization(s).
  • Attend all meetings of the committee;
  • Inform the Code Committee Chairperson of the number of copies of the Code required for their respective organizations. The Chair will advise NFACC, through the Code Manager, of the total number of copies required;
  • Cooperate as required to meet the requirements of any contribution agreement that provides funds for the Code’s development/revision/amendment;
  • Submit expense claims in accordance with stipulated requirements (i.e., submit original invoices, reasonable expenses as per Treasury Board guidelines) and in a timely fashion;
  • Respect confidentiality of information as may be required and adhere to the communications guidance provided in Appendices F & G;
  • Adhere to Appendix M, Code Committee Member Code of Conduct

See Appendix L for Process and Criteria for Removal or Suspension of a Code Committee member.

Commodity or Specialized Industry Group Responsibilities

  • Ensure the NFACC Code process is followed and completed with the Code finalized in a timely fashion;
  • Submit a completed Code Reporting Form to NFACC outlining that the Code process was followed;
  • Assign a Staff Liaison to work with the Code Manager and Code Committee Chair as per the Guidance Document for Code Committee Liaisons (Appendix E);
  • Facilitate awareness and support of the Code’s development such that the final Code as determined by the consensus of the Code Committee is accepted by the commodity or specialized industry group Board;
  • Coordinate distribution of the Code across the country. Provincial commodity groups will ensure distribution to organizations within their respective provinces;
  • Develop a communications/implementation plan for the Code to maximize awareness and uptake;
  • Pay for any reprints of the Code;
  • Make the Code available on its website.
  • Work with NFACC and other stakeholders to keep the Code relevant (see Code of Practice Maintenance Process)

Codes of Practice Format

Codes of Practice will be produced according to an established format so as to be instantly recognizable as a product of this development process. This is important in order that users of the Code will recognize the credibility of the information based on the process from which the Code was developed.

Copyright for each Code will be jointly held by the commodity association/industry group involved and NFACC.  Each Code should also have an ISBN to ensure its availability through Library and Archives Canada.

The template and process that all Codes follow will be determined by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). Suggestions regarding any changes should be brought forward to NFACC for consideration at least annually.

Codes of Practice Maintenance Process2

Background 

The National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare (NFAHW) Council released its, A National Farm Animal Welfare System for Canada report and recommendations in 2012. The report made a number of recommendations related to NFACC and the Codes of Practice. One recommendation, accepted by NFACC, directed “that NFACC review Codes of Practice at least every five years, and update them at least every ten years.” The Code maintenance process has been developed to address this recommendation.

It is the responsibility of NFACC and the applicable commodity group to maintain Codes with the objective of keeping them relevant. This section describes the process for maintaining a Code of Practice, which may involve amendments, publishing errata, and / or five-year reviews.  

Code Technical Panels 

Upon the publication of a new Code a Code Technical Panel (CTP) will be established by the commodity group, made up of sufficient expertise and access to sufficient expertise from the original Code Committee and/or Scientific Committee. Ideally expertise from within the Code committee should be engaged to ensure historical memory can be accessed. However, it is recognized that this may not always be possible. On occasion it may be preferable to include expertise from outside of the Code committee. The Code Manager should also be engaged on the CTP as an advisor. Representation must include the relevant commodity association or specialized industry group and:

  • Research or veterinary community,
  • Animal welfare association,
  • Other expertise as needed.

For Codes already established before this policy came into effect, a CTP can be assembled in retrospect following this guidance.

The CTP will be responsible for reviewing requests for amendments to the Code and will provide interpretation or clarifications in the event of questions relating to the meaning of a provision of the Code.

Interpretation of a Code

The goal is for Codes to be written clearly such that further explanations are unnecessary. However, occasionally questions do arise regarding the meaning of specific Code sections that may require clarifications or interpretation. An interpretation is a written clarification of the meaning of a section of a Code of Practice that is provided by the CTP in response to a written request for interpretation.

Requests for interpretation of a Code will be submitted to NFACC’s General Manager for formal action. NFACC’s General Manager may respond to informal inquiries regarding a Code of Practice and may consult the CTP. However, these responses will not be considered official interpretations.

Requests for interpretation will not be considered if:

  • The matter is known to be before the courts or an administrative tribunal. This includes the time from which formal steps are taken to begin a proceeding to the expiry or disposition of all appeals,
  • The request refers to errata.

The NFACC General Manager or designated NFACC contractor should review the request in consultation with the CTP and/or CTP chair to ensure that it is truly a matter for interpretation and clearly worded. 

If the request is valid then the issue will be referred to the CTP or a subsidiary committee for consideration and response.

An interpretation may address either the literal text or the intent of the text. It may invoke the collective memory of Code development committee participants or refer to committee records. If there is no agreement as to the intent amongst the CTP, then the literal interpretation should take precedence.

Following a decision on the interpretation, the NFACC General Manager or designated NFACC contractor will send a copy of the interpretation to the requestor. The interpretation will also be published on NFACC’s website.

Amendments

An amendment alters, adds to, and/or subtracts from a section or subsection in an existing Code of Practice.

Requests for amendments may be brought forward at any time by an NFACC member to NFACC’s General Manager or via the CTP through the five year review process. The General Manager or designated NFACC contractor will submit the amendment request to the appropriate CTP and facilitate their deliberations as needed. The requestor of an amendment will be prepared to assist with sourcing the necessary funds for a Code amendment.

Amendments to any Code shall be developed in accordance with the Code development process (steps one – seven). Steps Two - Four (related to the Scientific Committee) may be omitted or modified as recommended by the CTP due to the specificity of amendment requests. Resource availability shall be considered in the decision to develop and publish an amendment. Amendments should be developed when:

  • A conflict with another Code has been identified,
  • Obstacles to trade and markets have been identified,
  • Requirements are deemed to be impracticable,
  • Updates are necessary to be in respect of current practices, scientific advances, market requirements or legislation.

In addition, the CTP will ensure the following have been met before recommending the approval of an amendment request:

  • Is there industry support for the amendment?
  • Are resources (human and funding) available to support the amendment process?
  • Has a clear scope/project charter been developed by the requestor?
  • Does the CTP itself support the amendment?

The CTP will provide its recommendation to NFACC’s General Manager, who will follow up with the national commodity or specialized industry group to confirm their support through a signed Code of Practice Amendment Process Letter of Intent (Appendix N). The amendment request will then be submitted to NFACC’s Board for a final decision.

No more than three separate amendments, or any single amendment replacing more than one-third of the Code’s pages shall be published modifying a current Code of Practice. The development of a fourth amendment or an amendment exceeding one-third of the length of the Code as originally published shall trigger a full Code update. Amendments should not be initiated for a Code that has existed for six or more years.

A record of requests for amendments will be tracked and documented.

Errata

Errata may be issued to correct errors after a Code has been published. Examples include typographical errors, misprints, misspellings and omissions of approved text. Errata should only be published where the errors may cause confusion or misuse of the Code. Errata are issued on the joint authorization of NFACC and the national commodity lead or specialized industry group and do not require full Code Development Committee or CTP approval.

Five-year Code review

Codes of Practice will be reviewed every five years. A review may result in:

  • Reaffirmation of the Code
  • Recommendation to initiate a full Code update with proposed timelines
  • Recommendation to initiate Code amendments

A review is intended to provide an opportunity to reflect upon the overall progress made since a Code’s last update, identify challenges and determine the relative priority level for that Code’s next full update. Prioritization allows for the staggering of Code updates and avoids a glut that will overburden the limited resources of NFACC and its partners. Prioritization also ensures that resources are directed where needed.

The five-year review process entails:

  • A summary report - prepared by the CTP and provided to NFACC such that it can be circulated to NFACC members 60 days in advance of an NFACC meeting (see summary report template). The report should include:
    • Progress on research priorities identified by the Code development process,
    • Information on Code awareness and implementation,
    • Information pertaining to the value demonstrated from the current Code and its continued relevance,
    • Any challenges identified with the current Code (industry should track areas needing attention for their next Code update) and their degree of relevance in terms of prioritizing a Code update3,
    • The CTP’s recommendation for the review outcome.

NFACC will issue a reminder notice to the appropriate CTP when a Code has been in place for four years to allow time to prepare. Irrespective of whether a Code has undergone amendments, it shall follow the five-year review process. The CTP should use the preparation time allowed to ensure all points that need to be covered within the summary report are addressed and vetted with the appropriate allied groups. This will enable a seamless review process with satisfactory outcomes for all.

The CTP will designate a person to deliver a presentation to NFACC on its summary report. Input from other stakeholders will be solicited during the review.

The five-year review process presentation will take place during regular NFACC meetings. However, if agreement on the outcome of the review is not forthcoming, future deliberations should be done outside of the NFACC table and amongst the relevant stakeholders4. NFACC can assist if requested (e.g., organize and/or facilitate the discussion). Once agreement has been reached, the final recommendation will be brought forward to NFACC’s Board for a formal motion to approve.

 
2The Code of Practice maintenance section was largely taken from the Canadian Standards Association process for maintaining a CSA standard (pages 29 – 35): http://d1lbt4ns9xine0.cloudfront.net/csa_core/ccurl-zip/292/494/SDP_2-2_Part_2_%20Development-process-2014.pdf
3It is important to note that the Code process requires that an industry group indicates its desire to update its Code as a first step. Codes are not developed without the industry group stepping forward first.
4Examples of challenges that might feed into the prioritization of a Code update include information gathered from on farm animal care assessment programs indicating that changes to the Code are needed (e.g., from benchmarking on-farm practices), changes to legislation, market demands, public expectations, new research findings, technological changes.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

Funding for the Codes of Practice is provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) through the Agricultural Flexibility Fund, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.


 APPENDIX A 

Guiding Principles for Codes of Practice

All participating commodity groups agree to develop or revise their Codes in accordance with these guiding principles. NFACC will support Codes of Practice that follow these guidelines and the NFACC Code development process. NFACC will facilitate an overall Code development process by ensuring that coordination and secretariat assistance is available for Code development. 

Guiding Principles

  1. Codes should be based on the best available science and other acceptable knowledge sources (peer-reviewed science, industry publications/experience, expert opinion, anecdotal evidence, etc.), referencing those sources wherever possible and providing a rationale for requirements and recommendations. Requirements and recommended practices should be defensible and changed as new and improved information is brought forward. In addition, requirements and recommended practices should be practical, manageable and consider economic implications.
  2. Codes should be clearly articulated to ensure easy understanding by all users. The layout and design of Codes should facilitate an understanding of basic acceptable practices/requirements (musts) and recommendations that promote a higher level of care (shoulds).
  3. Codes should primarily deal with the criteria that need to be met in order to achieve an acceptable level of animal husbandry. Requirements should be clearly worded (i.e., using the term ‘must’) and have measurable components, recognizing that they may be used in an assessment process.
  4. Codes should also strive for continual improvement in animal care through recommendations that promote sound management and good animal care practices.
  5. Codes should be regularly reviewed (every 5 years), and revised at least every ten years, to ensure they are current with government policy/regulations, industry practices and scientific research.
  6. Codes should take into consideration other standards or Codes that may have implications for Canadian producers. The Codes should meet or exceed OIE standards as a demonstration of Canada’s implementation of OIE standards (www.oie.int).
  7. Codes should avoid redundancy and aim to be consistent where there may be overlap (e.g., transportation Code and species specific sections on transport within the Code).
  8. Following the development of the Code, animal welfare research needs identified within the code development process should be compiled and submitted to an appropriate funding body for consideration. Research needs should be tracked to determine if efforts were made to address them as part of the 5 year Code review process and prior to the next update of the Code.
  9. All Codes must be publicly available
  10. Some critical topics should be addressed in each commodity-specific Code, even if not part of the normal practice of industry (e.g., euthanasia). The following is a list of topics to be included in each commodity-specific Code:

    • Accommodation/Housing/Handling Facilities
    • Feed and Water
    • Health (e.g., record keeping, lameness, condition scoring, sick and injured animals)
    • Pre-transport considerations
    • Euthanasia
    • Husbandry/Stockmanship (including young and cull animals/poultry)
    • Emergency Management and Preparedness, including potential hazards (e.g., barn fires, power outages) for the species and resources for further information (including applicable resources from the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes).

Participation

There should be broad participation of people with knowledge of the industry in the Code development process. The selection process should be transparent. The following participants must be involved in the Code development process, where applicable:

  • Producer (representatives from each production phase with a target of 4 producers)
  • Transporter (with expertise in the specific species)
  • Veterinarian (with expertise in the specific species)
  • National animal welfare association
  • Provincial animal protection enforcement authority
  • Retail and food service organization
  • Processor
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and/or CFIA
  • Researcher/academic (Chair of the Scientific Committee)
  • Provincial government representative with responsibilities in animal welfare.

This list is not exhaustive. Other participants may be included if their input would benefit the Code development process within a particular commodity (e.g., engineer, equipment manufacturer or other technical expertise).

Code Committees should be targeted to include no more than fifteen committee members.

The commodity or specialized industry group will contact a recognized national organization affiliated with NFACC to nominate the Code Committee representative from the required representative groups. While the process for identifying individual representatives on the Code Committee is led by the commodity or specialized industry group charged with updating the Code the intent is that all organizations represented accept the Code Committee’s composition. A list of all participants on the Code Committee will be presented to all Code Committee members in advance of the first Code Committee meeting. A final list of Code Committee members will be submitted to NFACC.

The selection of Code Committee members is a critically important task. While representatives on the Code Committee are expected to consult with their constituents, they must also be empowered and entrusted to represent and negotiate in the best interests of their constituents..

Guidance on Animal Welfare Criteria

The Codes of Practice need to contain requirements and recommendations that can be implemented, and criteria that can be used to tell whether a given practice or facility is in compliance with the Code.

Outcome-based or animal-based criteria should be used where possible because they are generally related most directly to animal welfare, and because they can be applied to a wide range of production systems. Such criteria can be qualitative (all animals should be able to lie down at the same time without lying on top of each other) or quantitative (no more than 1% of animals should be dead on arrival). Where possible, quantitative criteria should be used.

For certain measures, it is possible to identify ‘critical levels’ beyond which welfare is expected to be adversely affected. Such levels are normally determined by scientific research. For example, welfare in many species is noticeably affected if ammonia levels in the air exceed 25 ppm. For other measures (percent lame, percent dead during transport) there are no critical levels but it may be possible to set or recommend ‘performance targets’, for example, that no more than 1% of animals should fall while being moved in a slaughter facility.  

In some cases, ‘conditional’ criteria can be used. These generally specify what actions should be taken under certain conditions. These can include both qualitative and quantitative elements. For example: (1) If more than 2% of birds arrive at the slaughter plant with broken wings, catching crews should be re-trained to catch birds in ways that are less likely to cause injuries. (2) In months where hot weather is expected, stocking density should be reduced so that birds have enough space to perform wing-stretching unimpeded.


APPENDIX B

National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) Code of Practice Development Process – letter of intent

This letter of intent confirms that <Commodity organization or specialized industry group name> understands the process and responsibilities with regard to the update, development and completion of the Code of Practice for the care and handling of <species>.

<Commodity organization or specialized industry group name> have received and is fully aware of:

  • the NFACC Code of Practice development process
  • respective financial and other responsibilities as outlined in the above-mentioned document or as provided by NFACC
  • requirements of any funding contribution agreement that will impact project activities, resource availability and information management.

Further <Commodity organization or specialized industry group name> agree to work with NFACC to:

  • identify appropriate representatives for the Code Committee as required, including consideration of Appendix M, Code Committee Member Code of Conduct
  • ensure that NFACC’s Code of Practice development process is followed and completed for the development of the Code of Practice for the care and handling of <species>
  • submit a completed Reporting Form to NFACC (template to be provided) outlining how the Code process was followed
  • cooperate as required to meet the requirements of any contribution agreement that provides funding for the Codes update and completion
  • designate a <Commodity organization or specialized industry group name>  liaison person that will assist NFACC in industry communications
  • promote the Code of Practice for the care and handling of <species>within the industry and allied groups
  • make the Code of Practice for the care and handling of <species> available on <Commodity organization or specialized industry group name> website
  • Coordinate distribution of the Code of Practice amongst producers across the country
  • Pay for any reprints of the Code of Practice 
Signed, on this (date)_____________________________________________

Authorized signature of national commodity or specialized industry group 

_____________________________________________

Name of national commodity or specialized industry group

_____________________________________________

Signature of Project Manager or Project Coordinator

_____________________________________________

APPENDIX C

 Scientific Committee Terms of Reference

Background

It is widely accepted that animal welfare codes, guidelines, standards or legislation should take advantage of the best available knowledge. This knowledge is often generated from the scientific literature.

In re-establishing the Code of Practice development process, NFACC recognized the need for a more formal means of integrating scientific input into the Code of Practice process. A Scientific Committee review of priority animal welfare issues for the species being addressed will provide valuable information to the Code Committee in developing or revising the Code of Practice. As the Scientific Committee report is publicly available, the transparency and credibility of the Code is enhanced.

For each Code of Practice being developed or updated, NFACC will identify a Scientific Committee. This committee will consist of a target number of 6 scientists familiar with research on the care and management of the animals under consideration. NFACC will request nominations from 1) Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, 2) Canadian Society of Animal Science, and 3) Canadian Chapter of the International Society for Applied Ethology. At least one representative from each of these professional scientific bodies will be named to the Scientific Committee. Other professional scientific organizations as appropriate may also serve on the Scientific Committee.  

Purpose & Goals

The Scientific Committee will develop a report synthesizing the results of research relating to key animal welfare issues, as identified by the Scientific Committee and the Code Committee. The report will be used by the Code Committee in drafting the Code of Practice for the species in question. Some priority issues may not be addressed by the Scientific Committee for any number of reasons (e.g., inadequate available research, existing protocols provide good guidance). Welfare issues that are not addressed by the Scientific Committee should still be addressed in the Code’s development.

Note: : the Scientific Committee report will not contain recommendations following from any research results. Its purpose is to present a compilation of the scientific findings without bias.

Timeframe

The Scientific Committee should expedite the completion of their report to the best of their ability. A report is expected to take one year to complete.

Accountability

The Scientific Committee is accountable to NFACC in ensuring that they meet the requirements of this Terms of Reference.

Communication

The Scientific Committee, through its Chair, is expected to have an open line of communication with:

  • NFACC, through the NFACC General Manager
  • Code Committee Manager
  • The Code Committee.

Implementation Framework

The Scientific Committee will elect its own chair. The Code Committee Chair (or designate) will sit as an observer.  The committee is expected to operate using a consensus model for decision-making.

The committee will identify a priority list of issues (perhaps 3 – 6 items) that they consider to be particularly important for animal welfare in the species being considered, and that will particularly benefit from a review of the available scientific literature.

The Code Committee will follow the same process.  The two committees will meet to collectively identify a list of issues for the species within the Code being addressed. Some priority issues may not be addressed by the Scientific Committee for any number of reasons (e.g., inadequate available research, existing protocols provide good guidance). Welfare issues that are not addressed by the Scientific Committee should still be addressed in the Code’s development.

Once this priority list of issues is developed the Scientific Committee will develop reviews of the scientific literature for each of these issues. NFACC will contract a research writer with the appropriate science background to assist the Scientific Committee to compile and synthesize information into a report (see Appendix K for Research Writer Terms of Reference).

In developing the report, the Scientific Committee should consider that evaluations of animal welfare can be based on three general overlapping types of concern:  biological functioning (including health and productivity), how the animal ‘feels’ (including measures of pain and preferences), and the naturalness (including the animals ability to perform behaviours that are important to it). The weighting or degree of importance attributed to each of these concepts can vary between individuals and is impacted by culture, educational focus, personal values and experiences, and practical realities. Much previous confusion has resulted from these different concerns being poorly articulated, and in some cases different recommendations can be derived from the same scientific findings if different types of welfare concern are considered most important.

The Scientific Committee report should be based on a broad view of welfare that encompasses all aspects of animal welfare and explicitly describes the link between the literature, the type of welfare concern, and the conclusion. After the Scientific Committee has completed its report, the report will be made available to the Code Committee to ensure that it answers the questions originally posed relating to the priority issues. 

The Scientific Committee should generally use only peer reviewed and publicly available literature in its report. In situations where the literature is abundant and spans over many years, it is acceptable and appropriate to utilize literature reviews rather than reviewing hundreds of primary sources.

The Scientific Committee will make its report available to the Code Committee for review on the following:

  1. Does the Scientific Committee report adequately address the PWIs identified by the stakeholders group?
  2. Does the Scientific Committee report refrain from making any recommendations?

It is not the task of the Code Committee to evaluate the scientific merit of the Scientific Committee report – this task will fall to the Peer Reviewers when the document moves into that stage. Subsequent to the Code Committee accepting the report it will proceed into the peer review stage.

A peer review coordinator will be identified to oversee the peer review process. Their role is to:

  • Identify and secure peer reviewers with the appropriate expertise
  • Present the Scientific Committee’s report and the Scientific Committee’s terms of reference to the peer reviewers, with guidance relative to timelines for completion of their task
  • Present the peer reviewers’ comments to the Scientific Committee
  • Review the Scientific Committee’s response to peer reviewer comments and determine if the report satisfactorily addresses concerns raised or provides a reasonable rationale for not addressing a concern.
  • Accept the Scientific Committee report as a peer reviewed document.

The Scientific Committee report will only be finalized after it has gone through a peer review process. The peer review should be as broad as is practicable within the timelines allowed, and should aim at achieving a scientific consensus. The Scientific Committee will undertake to reconcile issues raised during the peer review process to the satisfaction of the peer review coordinator. Following acceptance of the report by the peer review coordinator the Code Committee will use the report in developing/revising the Code of Practice in question. 

Upon finalization of the SC report, it will be presented to the Scientific Committee Chair, the Code Committee Chair and the NFACC Chair for decision on a release date.

The Scientific Committee report will be publicly available no later than when the Code of Practice is released for a 60-day comment period. A communication package will accompany the release particularly if it is in advance of the public comment period to avoid misunderstandings around what might be in the Code itself.

The Chair of the Scientific Committee will sit on the Code Committee as a full participant.  The Scientific Committee will be available if questions or issues arise in the Code development process that require expert scientific opinion or guidance.

Deliverables

A Scientific Committee report on identified animal welfare priority issues within the noted species that incorporates:

  • A review of research related to each priority issue
  • Synthesis of research results related to each priority issue
  • Some analysis of research studies to ensure the validity of the results compared to other studies (e.g., sample size)
  • Summary of any consensus of the scientific body of knowledge for each priority issue, taking into consideration the different perspectives for measuring animal welfare (e.g., biological functioning, feelings and naturalness).  In some cases there may not be a consensus.  This should be noted too, with possible explanations offered.
  • Identify gaps in knowledge and areas for further research
  • Other information relating to the priority issues that is deemed important in the development of the Code of Practice

Cost/Budget

Travel and meeting expenses for the Scientific Committee will be covered by NFACC according to Treasury Board of Canada guidelines.  NFACC will also cover remuneration for a research reviewer/writer with the appropriate science background to compile and synthesize information into a report (Appendix K).

Note: NFACC’s ability to cover these expenses is ultimately tied to available funding.  NFACC reserves the right to further limit expenses allowed as funding dictates. 


APPENDIX D 

Terms of Reference for Code Committee Chair

The Code Committee Chair is appointed by the national commodity or specialized industry group for the Code being developed. The Chair is a full member of the Code Committee and has observer status on the Scientific Committee (unless an alternate is chosen). The Chair plays a critical role within the Code development process and is important to the success of the Code being developed. This individual must work closely with all participants in the Code process and have strong chairmanship skills.   

1. General Responsibilities

The Chair works closely with the Code Manager and Staff Liaison, as required. The Chair's primary roles are to:

  • act as the Chairperson at Code Committee meetings;
  • ensure the Code Committee functions effectively and meets its obligations and responsibilities;
  • provide leadership to enable the Code Committee to act as an effective team in carrying out its responsibilities;
  • in collaboration with the Code Committee Manager and Staff Liaison, ensure the NFACC Code Development Process is followed, and make NFACC aware of any issues;
  • participate on the Scientific Committee as an observer (unless an alternate is chosen).

2. Working with the Code Manager and Staff Liaison

The Code Committee Chair has the responsibility to:

  • act as an advisor to the Code Committee Manager;
  • ensure the Code Committee Manager and Staff Liaison are aware of concerns of the Code Committee;
  • work with the Code Committee Manager and Staff Liaison to ensure the Code Committee is meeting its obligations and responsibilities.

3. Managing the Code Committee

The Chair has the responsibility to:

  • in collaboration with the Code Committee Manager and Staff Liaison, ensure that the appropriate issues are addressed at and between Code Committee meetings as required;
  • ensure all Code Committee members have the opportunity to be heard at Code Committee meetings, and that interactions between Code Committee members are respectful and civil;
  • encourage dialogue that builds consensus and develops teamwork within the Code Committee;
  • receive and respond to requests for observer status at Code Committee meetings as per the Guidelines for Granting Observer Status at Code Committee meetings (Appendix H);
  • ensure observers and “special observers” respect Code Committee meeting protocols. This can be facilitated by setting up meeting rooms such that Code Committee members sit at a main table, with observers positioned peripheral to the main table;
  • facilitate and resolve conflicts that may arise. Contentious topics require an approach that allows each member of the Code Committee to communicate respectfully and be heard.  Resolving disagreements in a mutually acceptable manner ultimately determines whether the Code is successful or not. Any substantial issues should be brought to the attention of NFACC’s General Manager

These terms of reference apply to the Code Committee Vice-Chair that is acting as Chair.


APPENDIX E 

Guidance for Code Committee Liaisons

Code Committee Liaisons play a pivotal role within the Code development process. The national commodity or specialized industry group must name an industry liaison who will work closely with the Chair of the Code Committee and Code Committee Manager. Each primary member of NFACC that has a representative on the Code Committee may also designate a liaison person at their own expense. Code Committee Liaisons must be identified at the outset of the Code process. All liaisons play a critical intermediary role informing communications between their representative and constituent organization. Their participation secures buy-in for the Code as it moves through the development process and is ultimately finalized.

Liaisons are not members of the Code Committee unless otherwise named to the Code Committee. Therefore, their role at Code Committee meetings is one of standing observer (see Appendix H, Guidelines for Granting Observer Status at Code Committee meetings document).

Responsibilities may include:

  • Present a final list of Code Committee members to NFACC to initiate the Code development process (applies to industry liaison only)
  • Assist with sourcing appropriate meeting rooms for the Code Committee to meet face-to-face (applies to industry liaison only)
  • Act as the key industry point of contact for the Code Committee Manager (applies to industry liaison only)
  • Work with the Code Committee Manager in facilitating the Code Committee in meeting its objective of developing/finalizing the Code of Practice
  • Track in kind contributions from industry participants involved in Code development (applies to industry liaison as needed)
  • Work with the Code Committee Manager to ensure timelines are met relative to the Code’s development and finalization (applies to industry liaison only)
  • Assist the Code Committee Manager in compiling feedback from the Code Committee or Scientific Committee on the Code process (applies to industry liaison only)
  • Work with NFACC to ensure all public communications issued by the commodity group (i.e., press releases, website notices, presentations, newsletter articles) relative to the Code being developed or Code process have AAFC approval as per the project contribution agreement (applies to industry liaison only)
  • Ensure communication messages of the respective organization are consistent and based on key messages as developed through the project
  • Work with NFACC to inform communications and promote buy-in for the Codes
  • Work with their commodity group to develop and implement a plan for promoting the industry’s Code of Practice, and communicate that plan as appropriate to NFACC for its reporting to funders (applies to industry liaisons only).
  • Follow Code Committee Member Code of Conduct (Appendix M), Code Committee Confidentiality Principles (Appendix F), and Code Committee Communication Strategy Guidance (Appendix G)

In some cases the industry liaison may also be responsible for managing the expenses of industry Code Committee members. This may include tracking and acquiring all original receipts for eligible project expenses incurred and submitting them for reimbursement.


APPENDIX F

Code Committee Confidentiality Principles

It is the intent of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) that Code Committees operate in a transparent, inclusive manner.  The complexity of issues being addressed by the Code Committees is such that it will likely be necessary to seek advice from individuals or groups that are outside of the Code Committee process on occasion.

In addition, if Code Committees are to arrive at a “preferred solution”, it is imperative that participants are able to share their views freely and openly.

On rare occasions, documentation may be provided to the Code Committee that contains confidential technical information, confidential business information, or information that may be subject to Canadian or provincial privacy legislation.  This information will be labeled to identify its security level.

Therefore, in undertaking its affairs, Code Committee participants acknowledge the importance of confidentiality and agree to the following principles:

  1. Documentation provided to the Code Committee must be used by the members only for the purpose for which it was originally collected, i.e. consideration of issues, development of the Code of Practice, stakeholder consultation.
  2. Documents, marked as CONFIDENTIAL will not be shared outside of Code Committee meetings. The Code of Practice under development by the Code Committee will be clearly marked CONFIDENTIAL until such time that the Code is ready for the public consultation period.
  3. Code Committee deliberations are confidential. Specific comments, attributed to individuals, should not be discussed or disclosed.
  4. Documents or Power Point presentations developed for stakeholder consultative purposes will be clearly be marked as “Draft for Discussion Only” and will include a date and version number.
  5. In spite of best efforts, if information is disclosed contrary to this understanding, the Code Committee Chair, Code Manager and NFACC are to be promptly notified.

APPENDIX G 

Code Committee Communication Strategy Guidance

This guidance is for the use of Code Committee members during the Code development process.

The ultimate success of the Code process will depend on the involvement and buy-in of the various stakeholders around the table. To ensure support for the Code once released, an effective communication strategy is needed throughout the Code development process. The following types of communications during the Code’s development are envisioned: general/public, stakeholder/internal and individual communications. All communications during the Code’s development must abide by the Code Committee Confidentiality Principles (Appendix F) document.

General/Public Communications

Principles for general/public communications:

  • Only individuals identified as spokespersons for their organization should do media interviews and presentations where media may be present.
  • Prior to any media interview, public or semi-public presentation, spokespersons should familiarize themselves with any speaking points and/or media messages provided by NFACC and the organization they represent.
  • Specific information on draft Code content or other confidential Code related information must not be shared prior to the public comment period. If in doubt, please confirm the status of the information.
  • Following the public comment period any edits made to the Code must not be shared beyond the Code Committee until and unless the Code Committee has defined a broader group that should be privy to such information prior to the public release of the final Code.
  • Code Committee deliberations are confidential. Specific comments, attributed to individuals, must not be discussed or disclosed.

Internal to Stakeholders

This section addresses the need for more detailed communications that may be needed to reach specific audiences/decision-makers and help ensure their commitment to the process and the direction being taken by the Code Committee. These communications pieces would be considered restricted to the audience/decision-makers identified (i.e., Boards, designated committees). A balance is required between the need for transparency while ensuring that the Code Committee remains in charge of the Code’s development. Each Code participant has the responsibility to ensure its membership is up to date on the Code process and direction. 

The target audiences include:

  • Code Participant Constituent Groups
  • Retail-Foodservice Companies or Organizations
  • Government Officials – elected and non-elected

Materials, including key messages, should be developed by the Code Manager (in consultation with the staff liaison) and reviewed by the Code Committee and NFACC General Manager. Code Committee members and staff liaisons should be responsible for conducting internal consultations. The Code Manager will orient any Code Committee member in advance of an internal consultation to ensure consistent use of the materials.

Considerations for internal consultations:

  • Materials used for internal consultations (e.g., Power Point presentations) must be marked “Draft for Discussion Only”, include a date and version number, and not be circulated beyond the intended audience
  • As much as possible concepts being considered rather than the actual proposed text should be shared
  • The details of Code Committee deliberations are strictly confidential (i.e., specific comments attributed to individuals should not be discussed or disclosed)
  • Code Committee members should advise the Code Manager of where presentations are being made and to which groups so that consultations efforts can be compiled.

Individual Communications

There will be situations where individuals not involved in the Code process, or not party to internal communications, need information (e.g., for purpose of planning, building, etc.). It is preferable to keep as much detail confidential until the public comment period. However, it may be important to provide the best information possible with the caveat that information is still under discussion and subject to change. The “need to know” nature of these discussions will primarily reside within the agriculture community. Code Committee representatives can, at their discretion, have private conversations about the Code where those conversations are deemed vital.

Guidance:

  • Any private conversation where details of the current draft of the Code are revealed need to include a caveat that the information provided is preliminary and not final, so while decisions may be informed by the discussion, they should not be determined by the discussion. Conversations should start and end with the caveat.
  • These kinds of conversations are strictly on a “need to know” basis meant to inform important decisions.

APPENDIX H 

Guidelines for Granting Observer Status at Code Committee meetings 

  1. Additional observers can be accepted at Code Committee meetings at the discretion of the Code Committee.
  2. All requests for observer status at Code Committee meetings shall be channeled to the Code Committee via the Code Manager and Code Committee Chair.
  3. Requests for observer status must be made at least one week in advance of any Code Committee meeting.
  4. Observers at the Code Committee meeting will not participate in the discussions of the Code Committee, unless invited by the Chair.
  5. Observers may be granted “special advisor” status to allow them to contribute relative to their specific expertise.  However, special advisors will limit themselves to relaying information in their area of expertise and will not be involved in Code Committee decision making.
  6. Observers will respect the confidentiality of information distributed or discussed at the Code Committee meeting as required (Appendices F, G).

There are also benefits to identifying “standing observers” at the start of the Code development process. Standing observers may be utilized as Code champions down the road given their awareness of the process behind Code decisions. The expectation is that standing observers will attend all meetings.


APPENDIX I 

NFACC Reporting Form - Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals

The aim of this reporting form is to provide sufficient information to NFACC to determine that the NFACC Code process was appropriately followed.  NFACC will support all Codes that follow its development or amendment process for Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals.  Check all boxes that apply.

  • Letter of Intent has been signed identifying that the national commodity or specialized industry group understands the process and responsibilities with regard to the update, development and completion of its Code.
  • The Code Committee was formed as per NFACC’s Guiding Principles for Codes of Practice.
  • A Scientific Committee was formed as per NFACC Code development process and priority welfare issues were agreed upon between the Scientific Committee and the Code Committee.
  • The Scientific Committee finalized a priority welfare issues report as per the Scientific Committee Terms of Reference, which has undergone a peer review process.
  • The Code Committee has utilized the Scientific Committee report in drafting the Code of Practice.
  • The principles outlined within the Guiding Principles for Codes of Practice have been followed in developing the Code.
  • The format template provided by NFACC for Codes has been followed.
Signature of Code Committee Chair __________________________________________________
Date__________________________________________________
Signature of commodity group Staff Liaison__________________________________________________
Date__________________________________________________

APPENDIX J 

NFACC Code Committee Manager – Skill set required

General comments

The NFACC Code Committee Manager plays a pivotal role within the Code development process.  This person is central to the success of the Code being developed and must work closely with the Chair of the Code Committee, Code Committee Liaisons, and the NFACC General Manager. The Code Committee Manager must have strong facilitation, communication (written and oral), critical thinking and research skills. A willing, positive attitude and open mind are fundamental to the Code Manager position. The position requires a person who is self-directed and motivated to succeed. The Code Manager is expected to be a neutral facilitator for the Code Committee.

Required Skills

  • Technical proficiency:  typing skills, knowledgeable in the use of various software programs (e.g., Word, Excel, Outlook) and equipment (e.g., projector, computer)
  • Organizational competence: able to coordinate scheduling of meeting dates, meeting requirements (e.g., necessary equipment, translation, catering, printing), providing documents/drafts to Code Committee members in advance via email, interacting with the Chair
  • Research capabilities: on-line and other literature reviews, interviews of topic experts
  • Writing proficiency: capable of writing concisely and synthesizing multiple sources of information into coherent summaries.  Also capable of hearing diverse views on a topic and configuring language that captures the essence of what needs to be communicated.
  • Facilitation/Conflict resolution:  contentious topics require an approach that allows each member of the Code Committee to communicate respectfully and be heard.  Resolving disagreements in a mutually acceptable manner ultimately determines whether the Code is successful or not.
  • Communication ability:  able to communicate effectively in a group setting and one-on-one

Responsibilities

  • Use the Code of Practice Development process as a guide in carrying out Secretarial duties
  • Work with the Code Committee and Scientific Committee to identify the 3-6 priority welfare issues for the Scientific Committee to develop a report on
  • Organize and attend meetings of the Code Committee (includes preparing minutes as required)
  • Prepare and revise drafts of the Code as required using the Code document template provided (this includes writing, literature reviews and other communications as needed to create drafts of the Code that can be reviewed by the Code Committee)
  • Facilitate the work of the Scientific Committee and/or its contract writer as needed to complete their task (as per Scientific Committee TOR) and ensure seamless incorporation of the Scientific Committee’s input to the Code
  • Ensure communications/documents (via email, print, and at meetings/teleconferences) are available in both official languages as necessary
  • Facilitate the Code Committee in meeting its objective of developing/finalizing the Code of Practice. This includes supporting the Code Committee Chair in resolving any conflicts that arise and making NFACC aware of substantial issues.
  • Coordinate the 60-day public comment period by advising the NFACC General Manager when the Code is ready for public review, submit the document for website upload, receive, compile and organize feedback for consideration by the Code Committee.
  • Assist as needed to coordinate copyright and ISBN for the Code
  • Provide a print-ready copy of the finalized Code once complete
  • Compile a list of research needs that resulted from the Code development process and submit to the NFACC General Manager
  • Compile any other feedback from the Code Committee or Scientific Committee on the Code process and submit to the NFACC General Manager

Reporting Structure

The Code Committee Manager reports to the NFACC General Manager. However, the Code Manager should have a close working relationship with the Code Committee, Code Committee Chair and Staff Liaison for daily matters (e.g. matters pertaining to specifics of the Code).


APPENDIX K

Scientific Committee Support Personnel Terms of Reference 

Reporting Structure

Support personnel will take direction from Scientific Committee members in the development of the Scientific Committee’s report, working closely with the Chair of the Scientific Committee.  Ultimately, research writers are accountable to the NFACC General Manager/Project Coordinator.  Support personnel may also need to work with the respective Code Committee Manager for the species being addressed and be capable of working independently as required. 

Qualifications:

  • Post graduate education in animal welfare science including the completion and defense of a graduate thesis
  • Technical proficiency:  typing, spelling, and proof-reading skills, knowledgeable in the use of various software programs (e.g., Word, Excel, Outlook, Endnote)
  • Strong organizational and teamwork skills
  • Literature review capabilities and access to on-line and print research books and scientific journals (including Scopus, PubMed, ScienceDirect, major scientific journals), including the ability to contrast and compare study methods and results in a meaningful way.
  • Writing proficiency: capable of writing concisely and synthesizing technical information into coherent, accurate, and precise summaries that are understandable by a layperson.   While the primary language used will be English, French language skills are an asset. 

Responsibilities include providing support as needed and directed by the Scientific Committee:

  • Organize and attend meetings/teleconferences
  • Drafting sections of the report as needed and directed by the Scientific Committee
  • Prepare, revise drafts and track edits of the priority welfare issues report as directed
  • Conducting literature searches and compiling and citing report references
  • Literature reviews and preparing summaries of the key points of research reports
  • Proof reading
  • Guide and support as needed to keep the report’s completion on track and on time
  • Ensure the report is consistent with the Scientific Committee’s terms of reference
  • Prepare the Scientific Committee response to peer reviewers for consideration by the Peer Review Coordinator
  • Copy editing as per NFACC’s Scientific Committee template, including reference style
  • Compiling gaps in knowledge and areas for further research
  • Provide a print-ready copy of the finalized priority welfare issues report once complete.

APPENDIX L

Process and Criteria for Removal or Suspension of a Code Committee member 

Removal of a Code Committee member

Code Committee members may be removed from the committee for any of the following reasons:

a) The organization that the member represents notifies NFACC’s General Manager in writing (email notices are acceptable),
b) If by notice in writing (email is acceptable) to the NFACC General Manager he or she resigns and such resignation, if not effective immediately, becomes effective in accordance with its terms,
c) If an order is made declaring him or her to be a mentally incompetent person or incapable of managing his or her own affairs,
d) If he or she is convicted of any criminal animal abuse, or other contraventions of animal welfare legislation, either as an individual or as a director of a company that is convicted of animal abuse.
e) If, he or she is not actively contributing to the development of the Code,
f) If he or she is found to be acting in contravention of the Code Committee Members Code of Conduct (Appendix M). 

For clauses a) and b) the decision rests with the organization and/or the individual Code committee member.

For clauses c) and d) NFACC’s Board is responsible for determining whether the Code Committee member should be removed. In the event of a decision to remove the Code Committee member under clauses c) or d), the NFACC Board will direct the General Manager, or such other officer as may be designated by the Board, to provide twenty (20) days of notice of removal to the member and shall provide reasons for the removal. The Board’s decision shall be final and binding without any further right of appeal. The NFACC General Manager will keep a record of any decisions made by the Board.

For clauses e) and f) the Code Committee is responsible for determining whether the Code Committee member should be removed by referring to Responsibilities of the Code Committee and Appendix M, Code of Conduct for Code Committee members. The Code Committee must arrive at a consensus that the Code Committee member should be removed and make NFACC’s General Manager aware of that decision. In the event of a decision to remove the Code Committee member under clauses e) or f), the Code Committee Chair will direct the Code Manager to provide twenty (20) days of notice of removal to the Code Committee member and shall provide the reasons for the removal. NFACC’s General Manager should be copied on the notice.

Also for e) and f) the Code Committee member being removed may make written objections to the NFACC Executive through the General Manager in response to the notice received within such twenty (20) day period. In the event that no written submissions are received the Code Committee member will be considered removed from the Code Committee. If a written submission is received in accordance with this section, the NFACC Executive will consider such submissions in arriving at a final decision and shall notify the member concerning such final decision within a further twenty (20) days from the date of receipt of the submissions. The Executive’s decision shall be final and binding, without any further right of appeal.

Suspension of a Code Committee member

NFACC expects that Code Committee members have a true passion for animal welfare and abide by Appendix M, Code Committee Members Code of Conduct. In the event that the Code Committee member is accused of animal neglect, abuse, or other regulatory contravention related to animal welfare he or she will be immediately suspended from the Code Committee pending further information.

This may be a temporary measure, but it is critical that NFACC takes animal neglect and abuse seriously.

The NFACC Executive committee is responsible for determining if the Code Committee member should be suspended and the criteria for lifting the suspension. The NFACC Executive will direct the General Manager, or such other officer as may be designated, to provide immediate notice (via email or letter) of the suspension.


APPENDIX M

Code Committee Member Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct guides Code Committee members in their approach to Code of Practice deliberations and interactions with other members of the Code Committee. Code Committee members hold themselves accountable to these principles:


TRUST – I will undertake and encourage actions that build trust and credibility amongst participants in the Code development process.
RESPECT – I will respect not only the views and values of other Code Committee members, but also their areas of expertise and authorities. Respect guides my interactions with fellow Code Committee members.
COMMUNICATION – I will strive for open communication that builds relationships and mitigates challenges that may stand in the way of achieving our common interest in promoting farm animal welfare.
CONSENSUS – I will operate through a consensus-based model of decision making in the development of this Code.
COLLABORATION – I will strive to share information and work with other committee members in advancing farm animal welfare through the Codes of Practice.
COMMITMENT – I will follow all applicable regulatory requirements, along with the applicable Code of Practice for animals under my care. Where a Code of Practice does not exist I will provide all animals under my care with an appropriate balance of the 5 freedoms, i.e.

    1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
    2. Freedom from Discomfort
    3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
    4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour
    5. Freedom from Fear and Distress.

APPENDIX N

National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) Code of Practice Amendment Process - letter of intent

This letter of intent confirms that <Commodity organization or specialized industry group name> understands the process and responsibilities with regard to the amendment of the Code of Practice for the care and handling of <species>.

<Commodity organization or specialized industry group name> have received and is fully aware of:

  • the NFACC Code of Practice amendment process
  • respective financial and other responsibilities as outlined in the above-mentioned document or as provided by NFACC
  • requirements of any funding contribution agreement that will impact project activities, resource availability and information management.

Further <Commodity organization or specialized industry group name> agree to work with NFACC to:

  • identify appropriate representatives for the Code Committee as required, including consideration of Appendix M, Code Committee Member Code of Conduct
  • ensure that NFACC’s Code of Practice process is followed and completed for the amendment of the Code of Practice for the care and handling of <species>
  • submit a completed Reporting Form to NFACC (template to be provided) outlining how the Code process was followed
  • cooperate as required to meet the requirements of any contribution agreement that provides funding for the Codes amendment
  • designate a <Commodity organization or specialized industry group name>  liaison person that will assist NFACC in industry communications
  • promote the Code of Practice for the care and handling of <species>within the industry and allied groups
  • make the Code of Practice for the care and handling of <species> available on <Commodity organization or specialized industry group name> website
  • Coordinate distribution of the Code of Practice amongst producers across the country
  • Pay for any reprints of the Code of Practice

 

Signed, on this (date)_____________________________________________

Authorized signature of national commodity or specialized industry group 

_____________________________________________

Name of National Commodity or Specialized industry group

_____________________________________________

Signature of Project Manager or Project Coordinator

_____________________________________________