Goat Code of Practice – Progress Update

Second Meeting October 2 and 3, 2019

The Goat Code Development Committee held their second meeting on October 2 and 3 in Ottawa.

Over two days, committee members engaged in an array of activities. Central were three draft section reviews presented by the Code sub-committee leads affiliated with the “Feed and Water”, “On-Farm Transport”, and “Emergency Management and Preparedness” teams. All reports were conducted in a round-table format which enabled committee members to ask questions and to provide feedback. All sessions elicited a great deal of highly constructive exchanges. All sessions also were also infused with reminders/reiterations as to the “top-of-mind” welfare concerns provided the committee at the outset of the Code via a public survey on goat related welfare concerns.

In addition, all members of the “Accommodations/housing”, “Animal health”, “Euthanasia”, and “Animal husbandry” sub-committees held a series of brief, face-to face discussions. The intent of these break-out sessions was to enable each team to prepare draft outlines for their respective sections, and to make plans for future communications and other chapter related development considerations. All four of these sub-committees will address the entire Code committee during our next meeting.

Throughout the meeting, presentations were also made with regard to the current activities of the goat Code Scientific Committee [as they review the available literature on the Code’s collectively agreed to “Priority Welfare Issues”, the new CFIA Health of Animals Transport regulations (and their relevance for the new goat Code of Practice), and internationally available goat welfare standards that Code sub-committees will wish to review for prospective content considerations toward the development of the new Code. Brief, but insightful presentations, were also made regarding two production-related facets of the goat industry (fibre and dairy).   

All Code Sub-Committees and the Scientific Committee will work with the Code Manager over the forthcoming weeks (via conference calls and electronic communications) in order to edit and further tighten all respective drafts going forward. The next meeting of the Goat Code Development committee will take place in late January.

First Meeting May 24 and 25, 2019

The Goat Code Development Committee and Goat Scientific Committee held their first meeting on May 24 and 25th in Quebec City. Over two days, members were formally introduced to one another and were presented with a thorough overview of the NFACC Code development process. Members were also provided with informative insights into the goat sector in Canada, presented with the results of a public survey on goat related welfare concerns [https://www.nfacc.ca/resources/codes-of-practice/goat/EN_FinalGoatReport02July2019.pdf], and toured a goat dairy facility.

Perhaps most importantly, members of both committees reached a consensus on the “Priority Welfare Issues” that the Goat Scientific Committee will be asked to review and report upon within twelve months. In particular, the Scientific Committee will develop a report synthesizing the results of research relating to the following animal welfare issues: 

  • End-of-life management
  • Lameness (Hoof trimming, Nutritional causes of lameness)
  • Optimizing kid health (Optimizing passive transfer of immunity)
  • Painful procedures (Prevention, Protocols/strategies, Pre- and post-op procedures,Disbudding, Dehorning, Horn tipping, and Castration)
  • Space allowance (Feeder and waterer space allowance, Housing density and indicators of adverse effects)
  • Natural behaviours (Positive states, Enrichment)