NFACC Update March 2019

In this issue:  


Farmed finfish Code

The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) has requested the development of Canada’s first Code of Practice for farmed finfish. Caroline Ramsay will serve as Code Manager. Caroline has a Bachelor of Science (UBC, 2007) and a Master of Public Policy (SFU, 2016) and has managed the development of three Codes of Practice (equine, veal cattle, and rabbit).

The Scientific Committee is organized and a Research Writer* is in place; the Code Committee is nearly finalized. Visit the farmed finfish Code page for more information. The ‘top-of-mind’ survey for the Code closed March 17.

Dairy Cattle Code

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) has requested an update to the 2009 Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle. This is the first Code developed through the NFACC process to be updated. A Code Development Committee is being assembled. NFACC has contracted a Research Writer* to support the dairy cattle Scientific Committee, which is nearly finalized. A media release with more details will be available soon. Caroline Ramsay will serve as Code Manager.

Transportation Code

NFACC, in collaboration with many stakeholders, has initiated an update to the Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals: Transportation, which was published in 2001 and developed through the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council. As the first Code developed through NFACC for off-farm use, the process will follow a modified approach based on NFACC’s Code Development Process.

A survey to capture top-of-mind welfare concerns has been launched, and will be open until March 31, 2019. Working Groups and the Code Development Committee are in the process of being populated.

The transportation Code’s update will be overseen by Code Director, Betsy Sharples. Working with NFACC since 2010, Betsy has managed the development of three on-farm Codes and assisted with the development of preliminary reports that will support the transportation Code’s update (available on the transportation Code page). Betsy is an Ontario-based consultant with extensive experience in the road transportation industry, which includes managing the Ontario Trucking Association Livestock Transporters’ Division for 20 years.

Betsy will be joined by other NFACC team members who will serve as Code Managers. Veteran Dr. Jeffrey Spooner, who managed the bison Code development process, will play a similar role for the transportation Code. New to the team are Dr. Lucie Verdon and Kate Cooper. As a Québec-based veterinarian, Lucie has extensive experience with the agriculture sector having managed the first national swine farm-level biosecurity standard, as well as the coordination of the swine surveillance network in Québec. She has also worked for the Canadian Swine Health Board, CFIA and MAPAQ in addition to having worked as a large animal veterinarian. Kate is a registered veterinary technologist from BC, where until recently, she worked as the Project Coordinator for Animal Care Services at the University of British Columbia. Kate has also worked as a veterinary technician for both the Vancouver Aquarium and the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC and served as a Lab Health Science Officer with the BC Ministry of Agriculture.

Welcome to the NFACC team Lucie and Kate!

Goat Code

The Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF) has requested an update to the 2003 Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals: Goats (developed through the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council). Dr. Jeffrey Spooner is the Code Manager. Jeff is an animal scientist and a social science researcher who divides his time between academic and consulting activities. Over the years Jeff has supported NFACC as a Code Manager and a research analyst while working with other national organizations including the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council and CFIA.

Progress on the goat Code has been steady. The Scientific Committee and Research Writer* are now in place. The Code Development Committee is being populated. Please visit the goat Code page for more information.

For information on the steps of the Code development process and progress of the Codes being updated follow this link.

*Research Writers will be introduced in the next NFACC Information Update.

Funding for this project has been provided through the AgriAssurance Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal–provincial–territorial initiative.


The swine chapter of the transportation Scientific Committee’s report has been published as a review paper in the open access format in Frontiers in Veterinary Science. Retitled with minor edits, ‘A Review of Swine Transportation Research on Priority Welfare Issues: a Canadian Perspective,’ is available at this link.

Congratulations and thank you to authors Fiona Lang, Jennifer Brown, Egan Brockhoff, and Luigi Faucitano for broadening the reach of the original work conducted through NFACC. Scientific Committee reports are a cornerstone of NFACC’s Code development process and provide critical scientific information to inform each Code that is updated or newly developed.


On February 20, 2019 CFIA unveiled changes to the humane transport requirements under the Health of Animals Regulations. The new regulations will come into effect in February 2020. This one-year transition will allow the animal transport industry to prepare for the amended regulations before they are enforced. The new regulations will be reflected in the update to the transportation Code.

Follow this link for information including the news release and the amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations – humane transport.


The pullets and laying hens Code is the first Code developed through NFACC to go through the interpretation process. The request for interpretation was received from Egg Farmers of Canada subsequent to queries received. The interpretation was finalized January 11, 2019. Visit the pullets and laying hens Code page for the interpretation.

Every attempt is made to ensure that Codes are written clearly such that further explanations are unnecessary. However, occasionally questions do arise regarding the meaning of specific Code sections that may require clarifications or interpretation. An interpretation is a written clarification of the meaning of a section of a Code of Practice that is provided by the Code Technical Panel in response to a written request for interpretation. See Interpretation of a Code for more information.

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