Code Development Process
Development Process for Codes of Practice
Codes of Practice 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, processing and other animal husbandry practices. Requirements refer to either a regulatory requirement, or an industry imposed expectation outlining acceptable and unacceptable practices. Recommended best practices strive for continuous improvement and encourage a higher level of care.
Each Code of Practice is audience specific with the scope related to the particular industry 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
The Code of Practice Guidelines offers further information on how these objectives are to be met. The development of a Code of Practice is anticipated to be at least a two-year process.
National Development Process of a New or Revised Code
The process, as outlined below, is the same for the development of new Codes and Code revisions. Codes should be regularly reviewed (i.e. every 5 years), and revised as needed, to ensure they are current with government policy/regulations, industry practices and scientific research.
The national commodity or specialized industry group should first contact the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) to indicate its interest in developing a Code of Practice.
NFACC will supply all appropriate materials outlining the process to the contact person of the national commodity or specialized industry group.
Following this, if the national commodity or specialized industry group chooses to proceed, it will write to NFACC to request the development of a new or revised Code. The request will be accompanied by:
- The commodity or specialized industry group’s list of members on its Code Development Committee and their contact information. The commodity will identify their Code Development Committee based on the Code Guidelines and assign a Chair.
- Written and signed standard agreement identifying that the national commodity or specialized industry group is and has been made fully aware of this process and the financial responsibilities for Code development, revision and reprints.
- Mail or email to: National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) 660 Speedvale Avenue West Suite #205, Guelph, Ontario, N1K 1E5 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NFACC will provide a notice on its website advising when a Code is to be developed or revised. There will be a 30-day comment period to solicit input and assess potential interest.
- NFACC will strike a Scientists’ Committee consisting 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. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Research Branch may also serve a role on the Scientists’ Committee. This committee will elect its own chair and will invite the commodity group to assign a producer representative to serve ex officio. The 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.
- The commodity or specialized industry group’s Code Development Committee will identify its priority list of welfare issues.
- The two committees will come together to collectively identify a list of issues for the species within the Code being addressed.
Following Terms of Reference developed by NFACC, the Scientists’ Committee will then write or commission a review of the scientific literature for each of these issues and create a report.
After the Scientists’ Committee has approved its report it will be made available to the Code Development Committee to ensure that the report answers the questions originally posed relating to the priority issues. The Scientists’ Committee report will be publicly available when the Code is released for a 60-day comment period.
The Code Development Committee will be responsible for drafting the Code by utilizing the recommendations from the Scientists’ Committee and following the Code of Practice Guideline document. The Scientists’ Committee will continue to consult with the Code Development Committee as needed. The Chair of the Scientists’ Committee will sit on the Code Development committee. The Code Development Committee should consult as required with their constituents to arrive at a final draft of the Code.
The final draft Code of Practice will be submitted to NFACC. The commodity will complete and return the standard reporting form, which will provide NFACC with sufficient information to determine whether or not the NFACC Code process was followed. If the Code of Practice development process was appropriately followed, NFACC will support the Code. NFACC will make the draft available to the public for a 60-day comment period. A template for providing submission will be made available during the public comment period to facilitate the organization and consideration of feedback received by the Code Development Committee.
Following the 60-day public comment period the Code Development Committee will consider any feedback, revise the draft if required and submit a final Code to NFACC for printing.
Note: In the event of contingencies causing delays in the Code development process, the Code Development Committee must notify NFACC as soon as possible. NFACC will work with the Code Development Committee to identify means of resolving any issues and address budgetary impacts.
- Provide secretariat support for the Scientists’ Committee
- Provide secretariat support for the Code Development Committee;
- Provide a Secretary for the Code Development Committee, if required, whose duties will be to:
- Attend all Code Development Committee meetings and record decisions
- Provide secretariat support for Code Development Committee members
- Prepare and revise drafts of the Code of Practice as required in both official languages and prepare final electronic copies for printing
- Coordinate the translation and first printing of a new or revised Code of Practice
- Make Codes of Practice available on its website
Responsibilities of the Code Development Committee
- Represent the interests of their respective organizations, collaborate with other committee members and contribute to the development of the Code of Practice;
- Attend all meetings of the committee;
- The Code Development Committee members will inform the Code Development Committee Chairperson of the number of copies of the Code required for their respective organizations. The Chair will advise NFACC of the total number of copies required;
- The Chairperson, with the support of the committee members, is responsible for ensuring the text and graphics for the new or revised Code are electronically available in the format required by NFACC;
- The Code Development Committee members will be responsible to ensure distribution of the Code to their members.
Commodity or Specialized Industry Group Responsibilities
- Ensure the NFACC Code process is followed;
- Submit a completed Reporting Form to NFACC outlining how the Code process was followed;
- Coordinate distribution of the Code across the country. Provincial commodity groups will ensure distribution to organizations within their respective provinces.
- Pay for any reprints of a Code
- Make the Code available on its website
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.
NFACC will supply a template for the input of the text and graphics for the Code of Practice to the contact person of the national commodity or specialized industry group. All Codes must be developed using this template.