NFACC statement on the status of the Code of Practice for poultry, including turkeys

March 26, 2014 - The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) has received communications from concerned people regarding the treatment of turkeys in Canada and requesting a comprehensive Code of Practice for turkey farmers. We would like to clarify NFACC’s role in Code of Practice development and the status of a turkey Code of Practice. 

There is a Code of Practice in place for the care and handling of poultry, including turkeys.  NFACC is currently leading the review and renewal process for this Code.

NFACC established, keeps current and oversees a Code of Practice development process.  If animal industry groups want to update (or create new) Codes they apply to NFACC and commit to following this multi-stakeholder process.  NFACC itself does not write the Codes of Practice or compel animal industry groups to the process.  NFACC is made up of stakeholder groups that support a robust Code development process that is transparent, science informed and consensus based. 

To date NFACC Code work has been supported by project-based funding provided through the federal government.  An update to the 2003 poultry Code of Practice, which is applicable to turkeys, has been initiated as part of a now complete Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Agri-Flexibility project.  NFACC has applied for Growing Forward 2 funding to continue with this Code’s renewal (and with other animal care projects) and is awaiting a response from AAFC.  

Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals serve as our national understanding of farm animal care requirements and recommendations. They serve multiple roles including as education tools, reference materials for regulations and the foundation for species specific on-farm animal care assessment programs.

NFACC’s role is to bring diverse stakeholder groups together to address farm animal welfare concerns, in part, through the development of Codes of Practice. This partnership includes farmers, veterinarians, processors, governments, humane societies, retailers, animal welfare scientists and others with responsibilities for farm animal welfare. We are confident that notification of approval will be forthcoming. Everyone involved is looking forward to the completion of an updated poultry Code.  

For more information on NFACC and the Code of Practice development process go to

Questions may be directed to NFACC’s General Manager at

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