NFACC Information Update: December 2012
In this issue:
- NFACC Farm Animal Care Conference, October 9 & 10, 2013
- Codes of Practice update
- Animal Care Assessment Assessment Model update
- Third OIE Global Conference on Animal Welfare
- Upcoming events
NFACC FARM ANIMAL CARE CONFERENCE
OCTOBER 9-10, 2013
Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport
Theme: Achievements, challenges and future directions
Learn about recent achievements in farm animal welfare in Canada and participate in discussion on challenges and future directions.
This conference is designed for all those involved in the animal agriculture industry – producers, farm animal and processor associations, retail, restaurant and food service companies, government and animal protection/enforcement agencies, veterinarians, researchers and media. More details to come, visit nfacc.ca/conferences.
Following is a summary of each Code under revision:
Beef Cattle – the Scientists’ Committee (SC) report has been finalized. The Code Development Committee (CDC), utilizing the SC report, is nearing completion of the draft Code.
Equine –the draft Code is being prepared for the public comment period. The comment period runs from December 3 to February 14. An official announcement at the start of the comment period will follow.
Farmed Fox – The public comment period is complete. The CDC will now consider all feedback, revise the draft as needed and submit a final Code to NFACC. The revised Code is slated to be released in April.
Mink – the 60-day public comment period began October 9, it wraps up December 7. The draft Code can be viewed and submissions made through NFACC’s web site at nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/mink.
Pig – Work on the draft Code continues as final wording on a few outstanding topics is agreed upon. Substantial efforts are being made by all stakeholders to achieve a balance that is good for the animals, achievable by producers and sustainable for the future. While this process is taking longer than expected, progress is being made.
Poultry (Chickens, Turkeys and Breeders) – the SC report is being finalized for peer review. Members of the CDC are now being identified.
Poultry (Layers) – work continues on the SC report. Priority welfare issues included in the report can be found at nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/poultry-layers.
Sheep – the SC report is under peer review. The CDC, utilizing the SC report, continues to work on the revised Code.
Visit www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice for more details on the Codes and the revision process.
Progress continues on the development of a dairy animal care assessment program, following the process set out in the draft ACAM. Dairy Farmers of Canada intends to utilize their Canadian Quality Milk (CQM) program as a common platform for multiple on farm initiatives, including the animal care program. Their proposal to integrate various programs for on-farm best management practices is known as the proAction Initiative and aims to promote on-farm excellence.
The dairy animal care assessment program coordinator has been working with CQM to harmonize the approach being taken on animal care with CQM. The draft dairy animal care assessment program is expected to be test piloted starting in December 2012.
The ACAM steering committee continues to fine tune the ACAM based, in part, on lessons learned from the dairy experience. Once finalized, the ACAM will establish a credible process for groups to follow when developing an animal care assessment program.
The ACAM is expected to be finalized by December 2013.
For more information: nfacc.ca/animal-care-assessment-model.
The OIE 3rd Global Conference on Animal Welfare was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 6-8 with the theme, ‘Implementing the OIE standards - addressing regional expectations’. Resolutions from the conference can be found at www.oie.int/eng/AW2012/intro.htm.
The Malaysian government took the opportunity as host of the conference to announce that it will spend 80 million Malaysian Ringget over eight years (approximately 26 million CAD) to improve animal welfare through its National Animal Welfare Strategic Plan 2012-2020 (NAWSP).
There was an emphasis at the conference on the importance of communities and community leaders (e.g., religious or those with a direct link on farm) in advancing animal welfare. Communities and religious leaders need to be involved in how animal welfare is addressed on the ground as it was recognized that animal welfare cannot be addressed strictly at a national or international level.
A shift from strictly promoting regulatory approaches for meeting OIE standards, to exploring non-regulatory approaches was apparent. It was recognized that legislation cannot be enforced to a degree that will totally assure animal welfare. Industry led quality assurance programs were seen as a critical piece for ensuring compliance to OIE standards.
The President of SSAFE, Anne Wilkinson, presented on the partnership between ISO and OIE to develop a technical specification on animal welfare based on OIE’s guidelines. SSAFE fosters continuous improvement and global acceptance of international recognized food protection systems and standards through public-private partnerships. It has taken the lead on the ISO initiative, utilizing the French consulting firm, Phylum, as a convenor for the working group that will develop the ISO technical specification on animal welfare. Ms Wilkinson noted that SSAFE members have acknowledged animal welfare and food safety as pre-competitive issues by having a shared vision for moving forward.
A Global Animal Welfare Strategy was proposed and received mixed reactions. However, the OIE resolutions from the conference include further exploration of this concept.
An “Animal welfare and trade in the America’s” regional congress on animal welfare and international trade is planned for October 17 & 18th 2013 in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Addressing Domestic and International Market Expectations Relative to Farm Animal Welfare – a project made possible through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural-Flexibility Fund.
Thanks to funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund, NFACC is providing the Canadian livestock and poultry value chain with tools to address market challenges, opportunities, and societal expectations relative to animal welfare, through the following activities:
- the development or revision of current Codes of Practice,
- the piloting, testing, and finalization of the Animal Care Assessment Model,
- the communication and promotion of current Canadian farm animal welfare activities.