Access to Information Request Directed at Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council


For immediate release

Access to Information Request Directed at Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council

(Lacombe, AB) 18 July 2016 – The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) is the subject of an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request submitted to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). This particular request relates to correspondence with the former Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and former Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. NFACC has no objections to the release of this information and wishes to advise anyone interested in reviewing the requested material or learning more to contact NFACC’s General Manager.

“We’re not privy to who made the request or their intent, but NFACC has always taken a principled approach. For that reason we believe the information should also be available to others who may wish to see it,” says Ryder Lee, NFACC Chair. “We felt that this was also an opportunity to clarify who NFACC is and what the organization does. We expect to be similarly transparent should we be made aware of further requests for information through ATIP.”

NFACC plays an important role in advancing farm animal welfare and represents a diversity of stakeholders, including farm groups, veterinarians, animal welfare groups, animal welfare researchers, governments, processors, food companies, and retailers. Collaboration amongst all stakeholders is critical for making real improvements in farm animal welfare.

Efforts are focussed on robust processes to draft or renew Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals as well as a framework process for the development of animal care assessment programs. NFACC doesn’t create farm animal care standards. NFACC creates the forum by which farm animal care standards are developed by bringing together diverse groups who need to be part of that decision-making process. The challenging nature of building consensus amongst diverse groups is what makes the process effective; providing an opportunity for improved decision making and more robust results. Each Code undergoes a public comment period to further support quality and success.

Brief videos on the Code process are available at

NFACC funding for its important work comes from two streams. NFACC’s core operations are funded through membership fees. Animal welfare project proposals (e.g., for Code development) compete for project funding with other agricultural priorities. There is no sustained funding for the development and maintenance of national Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals. Funding is never guaranteed. The review process for every project is rigorous and if approved, accountability measures ensure that funds are spent judiciously. Everyone takes the use of taxpayer’s money seriously.

In 2014 just over $2.2 million was approved over four years to facilitate the update or development of five Codes of Practice and raise awareness of the Code development process. A new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens and Turkeys was released in June. The draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Layers is currently available for public comment at The bison and veal cattle Codes are also being updated and are expected to be ready for public comment later this year. A new rabbit Code of Practice is also underway. Progress updates are regularly posted on each Code’s page. Go to and pick the Code you want to learn more about.

“We are very fortunate in Canada that our society values collaborative approaches and that we have a history of animal welfare groups working with farmers on animal welfare standards. We need to treasure and preserve this ability to work together given the pressures to apply one-dimensional solutions to complex issues,” advises Lee.

For more information on NFACC visit

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For more information contact:

  • Jackie Wepruk, General Manager, National Farm Animal Care Council, 403-783-4066,


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