NFACC Information Update July 2021

In this issue:


Farmed Salmonid Code

The Code Committee wishes to thank all those who participated in the comment period, which ran from November 2, 2020, to January 7, 2021. After several virtual subcommittee meetings in early spring, the entire Code Committee met virtually several times at the end of May and in early June and July to discuss the entire Code one final time. The Code Committee is very pleased to announce that they have reached consensus on the final Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farmed Salmonids, which will be published this fall. A report summarizing how input from both the top-of-mind survey (done at the outset of this project) and the public comment period was considered will be published alongside the final Code.

Not surprisingly, the main issues identified through the top-of-mind survey generally corresponded to the topics in the draft Code that received the most comments during the comment period particularly stocking density (biodensity), water quality, handling, and euthanasia and slaughter. For health monitoring and management (a top-of-mind concern) the section on sea lice received the most comments during the comment period.

Previous progress reports are available here.

Dairy Cattle Code

The Code Committee continues to work hard on updating the dairy Code having met several times in April, May, and June. These virtual meetings focused mainly on housing and health topics. A series of discussions on calf housing were initiated with a review of research summarized and presented by the Co-Chair of the Scientific Committee. From there, committee members were able to establish several calf housing proposals for the group’s consideration. Likewise, and thanks to their many past discussions, the committee has established 3-4 options for heifer and cow housing systems/designs.

At this point, nearly all sections of the updated Code are drafted and ready for the comment period. The main topics the committee continues to deliberate on fall under the housing chapter. Additional meetings will be scheduled for late August and September.

Previous progress reports are available here.

Goat Code

Work on the goat Code of practice continues along two fronts; discussing and addressing all public comment contributions and finalizing all content related to requisite Code topics. Virtual Code committee meetings, which had been temporarily deferred in favour of smaller-scale reviews/discussions among sub-committee leads and individual Code committee members, will resume this month with an eye toward concluding the Code and submitting such for publication as quickly as possible.

Previous progress reports are available here.

Transportation Code

Work on the Livestock & Poultry Transport Code of Practice is continuing throughout the summer months, with the two remaining sub-committees of the Code Development Committee (CDC) meeting online approximately every 3 weeks. This follows the completion of work by the Fitness and the Loading/Unloading Sub-committees, each of which met virtually 7 times between November 2020 and May 2021. The Equipment & Ventilation Sub-committee started meeting in May 2021 and is responsible for several challenging topics such as passive and mechanical ventilation, transporting animals in hot, humid, and cold conditions, bedding, boarding, and loading densities. The Personnel & Planning sub-committee held its first call in early July and is drafting content on topics such as knowledge and skills of personnel, on-road practices, and pre-trip planning. In addition to sub-committee work, the CDC met in early May for a general update on the progress of sub-committees and Working Groups (WGs), as well as to have discussions on the role of the Code in the existing robust regulatory environment, as well as the scope of the Code.

The CDC and its sub-committees are tasked with drafting content that is for the most part, common for most if not all species covered by the Code. After review by the CDC, species-specific WGs (many of which have been temporarily paused) will supplement the text with animal-specific guidelines. The goal is to reactivate the species-specific WGs this fall after the CDC has reviewed sub-committee content.

The Poultry Catching and Transport WG has been active since mid-2019 and is responsible for drafting text covering the catching and transportation of chickens (meat birds and layers) and turkeys. While the WG was able to meet in-person twice before the pandemic, 15 subsequent online meetings have been held by the full WG and its 7 sub-working groups, including 3 meetings of the full WG held in May and June. With only a couple of topics on which consensus is still needed, work on the Poultry module has been paused for the summer, with planning underway to start up again in September.

The Intermediary Sites WG has had 8 virtual meetings since January 2021. The WG has been actively engaged in working through the challenges associated with capturing 3 different sectors (assembly facilities; sales yards/auctions; feed/water/rest stations) and 12 different species within one section of a Code under a compressed timeline.

The inability for most of the WGs and the CDC to meet in an in-person environment over the past 18 months as well as for the foreseeable future has meant that challenging topics have not had the benefit of fulsome face-to-face discussions to develop consensus. However, June remains the targeted start date for the public comment period at this point.

A Transportation Code Conference was held in an online format in April. With the overarching theme of Pulling Together for a New Code, the conference featured a panel of livestock transporters who responded to questions from a moderator and participants. In part, the objectives were to: bring everyone together who are working on the Code to demonstrate the size and scope of the project (there are 90+ participants!); develop a stronger understanding amongst those involved in the process who may not be familiar with NFACC and the Code process; provide the opportunity to introduce the team of transporters to the entire group; and, highlight the need for all stakeholders in the transport continuum to acknowledge their roles in achieving better welfare outcomes. More than 80 participants took part in or attended the conference.

Previous progress reports are 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. 


Since the public comment period (which ran from December 7, 2020, to February 4, 2021) the Code Amendment Committee met six times to discuss the input and associated changes to the amendments.

Approximately 1,186 people participated in the comment period. Most participants (80%) self identified as animal welfare advocates. Seven percent of participants identified themselves as consumers and 1% as researchers/academic. Most commenters were from BC (76%) followed by Ontario (8%) and Alberta (3%). In addition, about 11 groups submitted input on behalf of a government ministry or their association (animal welfare advocacy, veterinary, or industry).

The committee is pleased to announce that they have reached consensus on the final amendments, which will be published in August. A report summarizing how input from the public comment period was considered will be published alongside the final Code.


Subsequent to the public comment period, the Pig Code Amendment Committee has been unable to come to a full consensus on proposed amendments to the 2014 pig Code of Practice. NFACC’s Board has determined that the pig Code amendment will be temporarily set aside pending NFACC undertaking a full review of its governance processes.  

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