Draft goat Code of Practice released for public comment


For immediate release

Draft goat Code of Practice released for public comment

(Lacombe, AB)  December 18, 2020 – The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) and the Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF) are pleased to announce the launch of the public comment period for the draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Goats. The public comment period allows stakeholders – producers, consumers, and others with an interest in the welfare of goats – to view the draft Code and provide input to inform the final Code.

The draft Code and the public comment system are now accessible at: www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/goats. All comments must be submitted through the online system. The public comment period closes February 22, 2021. The Code Development Committee will consider the submitted comments after the close of the comment period, and the final goat Code of Practice will be released in late 2021.

Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals are the result of a unique consensus-based, multi-stakeholder approach that brings together all relevant stakeholders with an interest in animal care standards.

A Scientific Committee report summarizing research conclusions on priority welfare topics can be found here. This peer-reviewed report aided the Code Development Committee during its deliberations to prepare the draft Code of Practice. The report, developed by scientists familiar with goat welfare, should be reviewed prior to making a submission.

“I’m proud of the collaborative effort committee members have shown since we began our work in the spring of 2019,” said Peter Kerkvliet, Chair of the goat Code Development Committee and dairy goat farmer from Ontario. “The public comment period will allow us to ensure we are on the right track in providing goat producers with the information they need to meet the needs of their animals.”

The Canadian Meat Goat Association (CMGA) is also a partner in the goat Code’s update. “The CMGA recognizes the importance for the goat industry to have a Code of Practice that is up to date in order to establish recognized rearing practices, promote animal welfare, and meet consumer demand,” says Catherine Michaud, CMGA General Manager and representative on the goat Code Development Committee.

“The Code development process provides an important opportunity for advancing farm animal welfare policy in Canada,” said Melissa Speirs of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA), who represents Humane Canada on the goat Code Development Committee. “We hope to receive broad input, both from industry professionals and the general public, to ensure this Code will improve animal welfare and reflect the values of Canadians.”

Once finalized, the new Code will promote sound management and welfare practices through recommendations and requirements for housing, feed and water, handling, euthanasia, on-farm slaughter, transport, and other important management practices. CNGF initiated the Code’s update in December 2018, utilizing NFACC’s Code development process.

The Code’s development is led by a 13-person Code Development Committee that includes participants from across Canada; producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, veterinarians, and government representatives. More information on the Code development process is available at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice.

The goat Code is one of four Codes of Practice currently being developed as part of a multi-year NFACC project funded by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. Codes of Practice serve as our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices. It is important that Codes be scientifically informed, implementable by producers, and reflect societal expectations for responsible farm animal care. The Codes cover housing, feed and water, handling, euthanasia, transport, and other important management practices.

Funding for this project has been provided through the AgriAssurance Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal–provincial–territorial initiative.

About the National Farm Animal Care Council

NFACC is a collaborative partnership of diverse stakeholders that work together on farm animal care and welfare. It supports robust processes to draft or renew Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals. For more information on NFACC visit www.nfacc.ca.

About the Canadian National Goat Federation

The Canadian National Goat Federation was formed in December 2002 to provide a united voice dealing with national issues concerning the goat industry in Canada. Our mandate is to represent the interest of all goat producers across Canada whether they are raising meat, dairy, fibre or pet animals. For more information on CNGF visit www.cangoats.com


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