NFACC Information Update July 2023
- 2022-2023 NFACC Project Achievements Report Released
- Promoting Sustainable Animal Welfare Advances Through Codes of Practice
- Updating the Pig Code of Practice
- Code of Practice Five-Year Reviews Completed
- NFACC in the news
- Upcoming events
The latest project Achievements Report is available at: Achievement Reports (nfacc.ca). The report features numerous accomplishments through the project, Advancing Animal Welfare and Public Trust Through Codes of Practice, along with notables regarding the National Farm Animal Care Council (e.g., how is NFACC funded, what does consensus mean?). Three Codes of Practice were updated or developed during the project:
- Canada’s first ever Code of Practice for the care and handling of farmed salmonids,
- The Code of Practice for the care and handling of goats,
- The Code of Practice for the care and handling of dairy cattle.
Each Code is accompanied by a peer-reviewed Scientific Committee report, a What We Heard and How We Addressed It report, and a list of animal welfare research needs to inform that Code’s next update.
The Achievements Report also summarizes the final outcomes for the transportation Code’s update.
A project application has been submitted through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership program to update the following Codes:
- 2013 beef cattle Code of Practice
- 2013 sheep Code of Practice
- 2013 equine Code of Practice
- 2014 pig Code of Practice
- 2016 hatching eggs, breeders, chickens and turkeys Code of Practice
Funding will also be sought for an amendment to the 2017 pullets and laying hens Code of Practice. An amendment was recommended by a Code Technical Panel. More details on the recommended amendments can be found here.
The aim is to start work in the Fall of 2023 presuming a timely approval of the project application.
A full update to the Code of Practice for the care and handling of pigs will commence in 2024, pending the approval of a project proposal that has been submitted under the federal government’s Sustainable CAP program. Completion of the update will take a few years; hence the current 2014 Code will remain as is until consensus is reached on an updated version.
Of particular note: the 2014 pig Code requires that by July 1, 2024, mated gilts and sows be housed in groups, or individual pens, or in stalls if provided with “periodic exercise”. The hog industry remains committed to group sow housing on all farms and is making progress toward this goal, such that all farms will be converted to enable housing in groups by 2029. At that point in time, housing in stalls with periodic exercise will be removed as an alternative to loose housing. Currently, about 62 per cent of Canadian production has made this conversion despite pandemic-related construction delays. The Canadian Pork Council has also committed to providing public updates on the industry’s housing transition progress.
While efforts to amend the pig Code in 2021 proved challenging, ongoing dialogue since then has focused on rebuilding and upholding good working relationships between NFACC stakeholders concerned with pig welfare. The result is a renewed commitment to work together to advance the welfare of pigs.
Code reviews are intended to provide an opportunity to reflect upon the overall progress made since a Code’s last update, identify challenges, and determine the relative priority level for that Code’s next full update. More information on five-year Code reviews can be found here.
In late 2022 and early 2023, three Codes of Practice underwent a five-year review. The outcome of each of these reviews can be found on the following pages: veal cattle, pullets and laying hens, and bison.