NFACC Information Update October 2021

In this issue:


NFACC is pleased to welcome new associate member:

Walmart Canada Corp

“Walmart Canada is committed to ensuring the farm animals in our supply chain are treated humanely throughout their lives and that the welfare of farm animals be considered in selection of all production systems, practices and technologies. Joining the National Farm Animal Care Council as Associate Members and working with fellow industry leaders to advance progress on enhanced animal welfare is an important milestone in this commitment.”


Farmed Salmonid Code

All those responsible for the care of farmed salmonids or that have an interest in fish welfare can look forward to the publication of the finalized Code of Practice on November 9th, 2021. On this date, a news release announcing the Code will be circulated, and the Code of Practice will be made available online (with printed copies circulated soon after).

A report summarizing how input from the public comment period was considered will be published alongside the Code. Given the breadth of topics covered by this Code (~45 in total), the report will focus on the comments pertaining to stakeholders’ top-of-mind welfare concerns as well as other Code sections that received the most input during the comment period.

Lastly, the research needs list (jointly developed by the Scientific and Code Committees) will also be published on November 9 and outlines key research gaps to ideally address prior to the next iteration of this Code. 

Congratulations to the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance and to all members of the Code Committee for reaching this milestone and establishing Canada’s first-ever farmed fish Code—you have a lot to be proud of!

Previous progress reports are available here.

Dairy Cattle Code

The Code Committee is pleased to announce that it has reached consensus on the draft Code, which will advance to the comment period scheduled to start on November 29, 2021. Dairy Farmers of Canada and NFACC extend a most sincere thank-you to this committee for the extraordinary dedication and expertise that each member of the team has brought to this effort. We wish you a successful comment period and hope that you enjoy a well-deserved break from the demanding schedule of meetings!

The Scientific Committee’s report on priority welfare issues will be published alongside the draft Code when the comment period begins. The report will no doubt serve as an important reference document during the comment period as it did for committee members throughout their deliberations.

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, have now fully resumed on all fronts. Each sub-committee is rapidly coming to agreements among themselves with regard to recommended edits to the original draft Code. Once ready, the entire Code Development Committee will reconvene to hear and respond to brief presentations from each sub-committee Lead regarding any proposed edits -- and the basis for such. Only issues for which consensus cannot be immediately attained will be discussed further prior to the close of the Code deliberation process (and subsequent submission to NFACC). All CDC meetings are on track to conclude before year’s end.  

Previous progress reports are available here.

Transportation Code

The two remaining sub-committees of the Transportation Code Development Committee (CDC) continue to develop draft common content (i.e., content that is common for most, if not all animals covered by the transportation Code). The Equipment and Ventilation sub-committee has held 7 virtual meetings and has drafted text on topics that cover protecting from external environmental conditions, air quality, ventilation, and thermal environment. Next on the sub-committee’s agenda will be developing common content that covers basic principles on loading densities.  After review by the CDC, the species-specific working groups will provide expertise and guidance on what to consider when determining loading densities by animal type. At the same time, the Personnel & Planning sub-committee continues to meet, and has made great progress in key areas such as on-road practices, pre-transport, and contingency planning.

The goal is to complete all sub-committee work by mid-December so that the Code management team can compile all common content for the CDC to review starting in early 2022. When the CDC review is close to completion, the next step will be to reactivate the species-specific WGs (Cattle; Pigs; Equine; Sheep & Goat; Bison & Cervid) so that those groups can supplement all common content with animal-specific content.

The Poultry Catching & Transportation WG continues to be in pause mode. With only one or two topics for which consensus is still required, the plan is to bring the group together early in the new year, if possible, for an in-person meeting to optimize engagement for finalizing the Code’s poultry catching and transportation module.

The Intermediary Sites WG has had 13 virtual meetings since January 2021, during which it has as been diligently working its way through as many of the shared welfare challenges as it can under the project’s compressed timeline. The WG is composed of three diverse sectors (assembly facilities; sales yards/auctions; feed/water/rest stations) and covers a wide variety of species. Moreover, this project represents the first time that standards for care of animals while offloaded at three distinct types of intermediary sites has been undertaken in Canada. As a result, this section has a uniquely challenging starting point.

To date, the group has focussed primarily on facilities- and health-related topics but has had its share of struggles due to the lack of scientific research specific to the three sectors. That said, the group is taking advantage of this opportunity to identify research gaps with a view to improving future welfare standards. Further, the variety of conditions faced by different types of intermediary sites across Canada has provided this group with many challenges, along with opportunities for many fruitful discussions centered around improving animal welfare. As a key underpinning, it is understood that several activities that take place at intermediary sites (e.g., loading, unloading, assessing fitness for transport, animal health, euthanasia) are already covered in existing on-farm Codes, or are/will be covered in other modules in the Transportation Code. Consequently, the group recognizes the importance in ensuring that content in this section does not conflict with existing Codes.

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.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative.  

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