NFACC statement on the status of the pig Code’s development

11 December 2012 – The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) is a collaborative partnership of very diverse stakeholders. We work together on farm animal care and welfare, including the development of Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals.

NFACC would like to clarify the status of the development of the pig Code of Practice. Recent media pieces have suggested that the pig Code’s development has been delayed due to a request from the pork industry to evaluate the potential economic impact of possible changes. This is not the case.

The decision as to when a Code is ready for public comment resides jointly with the Code Development Committee and NFACC. Once the Committee agrees that the Code is ready for public comment it submits the draft to NFACC. NFACC then confirms that the Code process has been followed and undertakes to prepare the Code for public comment.

Presently, the pig Code Development Committee is continuing its work. Agreement on final wording for a few outstanding topics and the need to conduct an additional in-person meeting has delayed the process.

It is a tremendous challenge to reach a balance that is good for the animals, achievable by producers and sustainable for the future, in a way that also addresses market needs and expectations. The members of the pig Code Development Committee deserve many accolades for their tireless dedication to this goal.

NFACC itself has limited flexibility to adjust timelines for the pig Code under its current project funding. We anticipate that the Code Development Committee will be able to meet a June 1, 2013 target for the start of the pig Code’s public comment period. This is a pivotal date for ensuring that the pig Code is finished before the end of 2013.

The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) has requested the opportunity to conduct an economic analysis prior to releasing the Code for public comment. CPC has expressed its continued support for the Code process and wants to see a successful Code that can be fully adopted by producers.

As with any new proposed standard, regulation or business practice, the impact of the change must be measured and understood in order to achieve broad acceptance and adoption. NFACC supports CPC in providing producers with this information.

Given the delay in finalizing the pig Code, this affords the CPC with an opportunity to conduct its economic analysis. NFACC agrees that this study will help answer producer questions and solicit their support. We have encouraged CPC to carry out its analysis as the pig Code is being finalized over the next few months in preparation for the public comment period.

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