NFACC Information Update February 2020

In this issue:  


NFACC is pleased to welcome new Primary Member:

Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance

“CAIA and its members are very pleased to be new members of NFACC. Animal welfare is an increasingly important topic to us, and we want to ensure our fish are treated in a humane way through all aspects of production. We are already a highly transparent food production sector, and we support increasing transparency and this includes for fish welfare. NFACC’s multi-stakeholder approach to developing Codes for Finfish Welfare is an important step in our sector’s development and we are pleased to join other animal sectors to build Canada’s “best in the world” food production practices.” - Tim Kennedy, Executive Director Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance


NFACC is pleased to welcome new associate member:

Cactus Club Cafe   

Cactus Club Cafe is a Canadian-owned, Vancouver-based chain of premium casual restaurants, with 31 locations    across Canada, including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. The company is a member of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), along with being engaged in a variety of other responsible sourcing initiatives

NFACC is pleased to welcome new associate member:

New-Life Mills

“New-Life Mills is a division of Parrish and Heimbecker, Limited and operates as the animal feed and farm division since 1964. Our company-owned Turkey, Broiler Chicken, Pullet, Layer, and Pullet Breeder farms are committed to strict quality assurance/ quality control programs through responsible nutrition, research, and species management. We are proud to become an associate member of NFACC and will use this opportunity to continue implementing high standards of animal care and food safety on our farms.”  ΜΆΜΆ  Caitlin Woolcott, Animal Welfare Specialist  



Farmed finfish Code

In their November meeting, the Code Development Committee finalized the scope of this code, which will focus on farmed salmonids (trout, char, salmon) and cover the actual transportation process, in addition to on-farm preparations for transportation.

The meeting was otherwise focused on revising the transportation chapter with emphasis on new content on the transportation process (e.g. monitoring water quality and fish behaviour, emergency preparedness and response). The committee also revisited selected sections of the husbandry and health chapters (e.g. knowledge/skills of personnel, pest and predator control, fallowing).

A full summary of this meeting is available here.

Transportation Code

Progress continues in the development of the Livestock and Poultry Transportation Code of Practice. Species-Specific Working Groups (WG) are continuing their work under the leadership of Code Managers Jeffrey Spooner, Kate Cooper, and Lucie Verdon. The Pig WG met for its first in-person meeting in November, and both the Cattle and Mink/Fox/Rabbit WGs held their first in-person meetings in Toronto in January. A second 2-day meeting for the Poultry WG is scheduled for February, as is the first meeting of the Sheep/Goats WG.

In November, the transportation Code team organized two webinars (one in English and one in French) for Species-Specific WG members. The webinars were hosted by CFIA to assist WGs with understanding the amended Health of Animals Regulations that govern animal transport. All (90+) Species-Specific WG participants were invited to join the webinars. Many thanks to CFIA for answering the call to host the webinars which resulted in positive feedback from participants.

In November, the Transportation Code director delivered a presentation at the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council 2019 Forum in Gatineau, QC. She spoke about the many challenges associated with tackling the first off-farm Code that is following the NFACC Code Development Process. Some of those challenges were discussed by the Transportation Code team at the first meeting of the Editing & Review Committee in November. The meeting triggered a re-think about the approach being taken and led to recommendations moving forward.

These recommendations were presented to the NFACC board and other stakeholders at the NFACC meeting in December and there was agreement to fine-tune the approach. As a result, there will be a re-focus of energy from drafting species-specific Code content to drafting Code content that is common to all animals covered by the Code.

Consequently, efforts are underway to populate the Code Development Committee, which through the use of sub-committees, will have responsibility for drafting common content. The expertise of species-specific WGs will continue to be used to tease out animal-specific content. Once the WGs have gone as far as they deem appropriate, their work will be paused until such time that the common content has been populated. At that point, the species-specific WGs will reconvene to draft additional species-specific content as needed.

Further information on the transportation Code’s progress can be found here.

Goat Code

The Goat Code Development Committee held their third meeting on January 29th and 30th in Toronto.  Code members continue to be reminded of the results of the “top-of-mind” welfare concerns provided to the committee at the outset of the Code [via a public survey on goat related welfare concerns].

A summary of meeting #3 is available here.

Code sub-committees will continue to refine their respective Code sections in advance of a fourth meeting, planned for April. Meeting #4 will also include a review of the entire draft scientific report and will begin to address the forthcoming public comment period, scheduled for Fall 2020. A guide to Code of Practice public comment periods can be found here.

Dairy Cattle Code

In the January Code meeting, several chapters of the Scientific Committee’s research report were presented and discussed. These included cow-calf separation, pain control, and selected housing topics. The Code Development Committee also revised the husbandry chapter of the Code (e.g. stockmanship, milking, handling) and revisited certain sections of the feed and water chapter (e.g. milk feeding, weaning, feeding at pasture).

Many of the topics discussed were identified as top-of-mind concerns in a survey launched at the start of this Code’s update. A full summary of this meeting is available here.

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

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

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