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Updated Code of Practice on Pig Welfare Explained

10 March 2014
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - The National Farm Animal Care Council has released its updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs in Canada, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The National Farm Animal Care Council released its newly updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs in Canada on 6 March.

The update of the Pig Code, one of eight codes of practice being updated, began in 2010 and involved a 17-person code committee represented by pig producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, processors, veterinarians and government representatives aided by a six person Scientific Committee.

Jackie Wepruk, the general manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council, says the consensus based approach to updating Canada's codes of practice has proved highly successful.

Jackie Wepruk - National Farm Animal Care Council

Animal welfare is a deeply personal and often very emotional issue and everyone has their own perspective that's based on their values, their experiences, their knowledge and even their culture and so the challenge has always been to strike a balance that reflects our scientific understanding of animal welfare and is also practical for farmers to implement and also address societal expectations.

I think this code really marks a significant step that diverse stakeholders have taken together to constructively address pig welfare.

It's a starting point for continual improvement not only in terms of how pig welfare is addressed but how all these different perspectives on animal welfare can work together.

I think this code really represents an important turning point for pig welfare in Canada and hopefully sets an example for others as they struggle with welfare issues as well.

Ms Wepruk suggests everyone concerned about pig welfare will need to ask themselves how they can help producers meet or exceed the goals laid out in this code.

She says we all share the responsibility of making this code a success and supporting the producers who are going to have to implement it.

For more on the revised Pig Code of Practice visit the National Farm Animal Care Council's web site at NFACC.Ca.

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ThePigSite News Desk

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