On Farm Audits Offer Best Option to Address Consumer Animal Welfare Concerns

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1195. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 10 March 2003
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Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1195

The Canadian Pork Council says an auditable on farm animal welfare program appears to be the best mechanism for assuring the public that livestock on Canadian farms is being properly cared for.

To be certified under Canadian Quality Assurance, swine producers are required to implement procedures that ensure the safety and quality of their products, document those procedures, then demonstrate adherence to them.

The Canadian Pork Council is considering adding a voluntary auditable animal welfare component to that program.

CPC Executive Assistant Catherine Skovil says the animal welfare audit would remain separate from the food safety aspect but use the same delivery mechanism to provide animal welfare assurances.

"Canadian hog producers provide excellent care for the animals and they've been doing that for a long time.

They have relied on the code of practice to outline for them good guidelines for the proper care of their animals but the industry does recognize that it's now time to more clearly demonstrate what it is that's happening on hog farms and the key element is to look at what audible standards would look like, what would be the key elements and how they could best be implemented.

This is another new exciting initiative to help talk openly about what's happening on hog farms.

Certainly with food safety, the environment and animal welfare hog producers have been doing a great job and we want to and need to have mechanisms in place to demonstrate what producers are doing on farm to the purchasers of our product and the public in general. "

Skovil says, under the new proposal an auditor would come onto the farm, examine the food safety related elements then separately analyze the animal welfare related elements.

She says the key is to avoid the need to establish a new system but rather to build on systems that are already out there.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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