Updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Goats Released








For immediate release

Updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Goats Released

(Lacombe, AB) 18 November, 2022 – The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) and the Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF) are pleased to announce the release of the updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Goats. The Code is now available at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/goats

“I want to recognize the contribution and dedication of the Code Development Committee in bringing an updated goat Code to realization,” said Peter Kerkvliet, Chair of the goat Code Development Committee and dairy goat farmer from Ontario. “This newly updated Code provides goat producers with the information they need to meet the needs of their animals.” 

A summary report from the Code Development Committee is also available here. The report summarizes the feedback received on the draft Code, both from the public comment period and from a 2019 top-of-mind survey, noting how the Code Committee considered this feedback in finalizing the Code. Committee members thank everyone who contributed their feedback, which led to several improvements in the final Code. While not all concerns were able to be addressed, the Code Development Committee worked hard to balance producer achievability, available research, and stakeholder viewpoints in the Code’s development. 

“This Code reflects the industry’s progress on welfare since the 2003 Code and incorporates current research on goat welfare,” said Melissa Speirs, Humane Canada representative on the goat Code Development Committee. “The updated code will benefit goats raised in Canada by setting a standard of care for all goat farms across the country.” 

The Canadian Meat Goat Association (CMGA) was 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 concerted rearing practices, promote animal welfare, and meet consumer demand,” says Catherine Michaud, CMGA General Manager and representative on the goat Code Development Committee. “We not only recommended rearing practices recognized by science or research; we used science, research, and common sense such that the Code can be effectively applicable at the farm level.” 

Canada’s Codes of Practice provide critical guidance for the care and handling of farm animals. They serve as the foundation for ensuring that farm animals are cared for using sound management and welfare practices that promote animal health and well-being. Codes are used as educational tools, reference materials for regulations, and the foundation for industry animal care assessment programs. 

NFACC’s Code development process is a unique consensus-based, multi-stakeholder approach that ensures credibility and transparency through scientific rigour, stakeholder collaboration, and consistency. The development of the Goat Code was led by a 13-person Code committee that includes participants from across Canada including goat producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, processors, researchers, veterinarians, and government representatives. 

Aiding in their work was a four-person Scientific Committee that included animal science and veterinary expertise in goat behaviour, health, and welfare. A public comment period was held from December 18, 2020 – February 22, 2021 to allow the public and all stakeholders to provide input. 

Canada’s Codes of Practice are a powerful tool for meeting rising consumer, marketplace and societal expectations relative to farmed animal welfare. Codes support responsible animal care practices and keep everyone involved in farmed animal care and handling on the same page. 

The Goat Code is the fourteenth Code of Practice developed through NFACC’s Code development process. For more information on the Codes of Practice and NFACC’s Code development process visit www.nfacc.ca.


Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative.


About the National Farm Animal Care Council

NFACC is a collaborative partnership of diverse stakeholders created in 2005 to share information and work together on farm animal care and welfare. It is the national lead for farm animal care issues in Canada and operates as a Division of Animal Health Canada. 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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