New Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs released

(Ottawa) 06 March 2014 – The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) are pleased to announce the release of the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs. The Code is available electronically at

“This Code reflects producers’ continued commitment to animal health and welfare and dedication to responsible animal husbandry,” says Florian Possberg, chair of the pig Code Development Committee. “The groups around the table worked well together. There were many challenges to updating the Code but we worked through them methodically. We took a science-informed focus, looking at what's best for the animals but also reasonable and practical for the industry."

The Code’s development was led by a 17-person Code committee comprised of pig producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, processors, veterinarians and government representatives. Aiding in their work was a six-person Scientific Committee that included research and veterinary expertise in pig behaviour, health and welfare.

“This new Code of Practice is a turning point for the welfare of pigs in Canada,” said Barbara Cartwright, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the only animal welfare organization at the Code table. “It signals the end of gestation stalls, an achievement secured against significant obstacles. Pigs’ lives will also be improved by mandatory pain relief during castration and tail docking. However, we encourage producers to provide even higher standards than the Code requires.”

Canada’s Codes of Practice are a powerful tool for meeting rising consumer, marketplace and societal expectations relative to farm animal welfare. Codes support responsible animal care practices and keep everyone involved in farm animal care and handling on the same page. They are our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices, providing a foundation for animal care assessment programs and in some provinces, regulatory activities.

Under the NFACC Code development process, amendments to nine Codes of Practice have been undertaken since 2008.  The pig Code is the sixth Code of Practice to be completed with support through the Agricultural Flexibility Fund, with a further two Codes currently under revision.  More information on the Code development process is available at

Code of Practice updates initiated from 2010 to 2013 are part of the project: 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, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

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. NFACC would like to acknowledge the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC) for their role in securing funding for this project. For more information on NFACC visit

About Canadian Pork Council

CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations, the organization's purpose is to play a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector. For more information on CPC visit

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