NFACC Information Update: November 2013
- “Achievements, Challenges and Future Directions” - National Farm Animal Care Conference a success
- Codes of Practice update
- Animal Care Assessment Framework update
- Upcoming events
The conference, held October 9 and 10, was attended by 140 participants from across the agriculture and food value chain as well as others with an interest in farm animal care.
Several conference speakers recognized NFACC as pivotal to Canada’s success, with its nationally coordinated, multi-stakeholder, consensus-based approach. Open dialogue, science-driven innovation and tangible backing from the value chain are crucial for Canadian agriculture to tackle today’s challenges around farm animal care. There is a need to continue a national-level collaborative approach that has set a new course of improved transparency and science-informed, consensus-based progress.
If you missed the conference or would like to listen again to some of your favorite presentations, go to www.nfacc.ca/conferences. Audio and PDFs of most presentations are available.
Five new Codes of Practice are now complete:
Beef Cattle – access your electronic copy from www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/beef-cattle.
Equine – access your electronic copy from www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/equine.
Farmed Fox – access your electronic copy from www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/farmed-fox.
Mink – access your electronic copy from www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/mink.
Sheep - the final Code is being prepared for print, the Code will be released in December.
A limited number of hard copies are available by request from the national and provincial commodity associations for each species.
Progress continues on three more Codes:
Pig – Over 4700 submissions were received during the draft Code public comment period that ended August 3. Submissions came from across Canada, the United States and around the world. Producers, processors, veterinarians, animal welfare advocates, the general public and many others contributed valuable input. The pig Code Development Committee, considering all the feedback, continues to deliberate. While there is a notable diversity of views on some complex issues, there is also a genuine commitment to find common ground. The challenges were articulated by Catherine Scovil of the Canadian Pork Council at NFACC’s October conference. The slides and audio from Catherine’s “Transitions in animal welfare: confinement systems” presentation are available at www.nfacc.ca/conferences.
Poultry (Chickens, Turkeys and Breeders) – the Scientific Committee (SC) report is complete. The Code Development Committee met in September and continues to work via teleconference. The budget for this Code as part of the Agri-Flexibility project is mostly expended. Project funding has been applied for through the Growing Forward 2, “AgriMarketing Program, Assurance Systems Stream” to complete this Code.
Poultry (Layers) – the Scientific Committee (SC) report has been peer reviewed and will be complete by yearend. The Code Development Committee met in September and continues to work via teleconference. The budget for this Code as part of the Agri-Flexibility project is expended. Project funding has been applied for through the Growing Forward 2, “AgriMarketing Program. Assurance Systems Stream” to complete this Code.
Animal Care Assessment Framework (formerly called the Animal Care Assessment Model) - provides a credible process to follow when developing an animal care assessment program. A workshop to present the Animal Care Assessment Framework (ACAF) and seek input on future strategies related to animal care assessment was held on October 8, 2013. A “What We Heard” report is being prepared and will soon be available at www.nfacc.ca/animal-care-assessment, as will the final Animal Care Assessment Framework.
Caroline Ramsay, ACAF Coordinator, presented the Animal Care Assessment Framework at NFACC’s conference on October 9. The slides and audio from Caroline’s “Building a common approach to animal care assessment” presentation are available at www.nfacc.ca/conferences.
Animal Care Assessment Program (ACAP) - Dairy Farmers of Canada has made considerable progress on their animal care assessment program, which was a pilot of the ACAF process. The dairy ACAP is based on the Code of Practice for the care and handling of dairy cattle. The draft program itself was test piloted on dairy farms across Canada from April – June 2013. The feedback from the test pilot was used to further develop the draft program. Ron Maynard, dairy producer and Vice-President, Dairy Farmers of Canada explained the draft program and future timelines at NFACC’s conference on October 9. The slides and audio from Ron’s “Implementing the dairy Code - Mooving ahead with animal care” presentation are available at www.nfacc.ca/conferences.
"Our producers have been very supportive,” says Ron Maynard, dairy producer and Vice President, Dairy Farmers of Canada. “We can better manage what we can measure and this program will be a tool to do that. It provides a basis for benchmarking to support management decisions both at an industry level and an individual producer level. This promotes continual improvement."
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.