Animal Care Assessment Validation Process Advised

by 5m Editor
16 May 2011, at 11:09am

CANADA - Pork producers who have not yet become part of the Animal Care Assessment programme are encouraged to begin the validation process well before its amalgamation with the Canadian Quality Assurance programme, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Animal Care Assessment program was introduced in 2005 as a voluntary stand-alone component of the Canadian Quality Assurance programme, Canada's on-farm food safety programme.

Effective 1 January 2012 the two will be amalgamated.

Manitoba Pork Council quality assurance and labor programmes manager Miles Beaudin reports just under 40 per cent of Manitoba's pork producers have already adopted the Animal Care Assessment programme.

Miles Beaudin-Manitoba Pork Council

The Animal Care Assessment has been designed as an educational and assessment tool for producers to track the welfare of animals on their farms independent of their own production system.

Coupled with the external verification process, the programme can be used to provide assurance of all farm animal welfare on the farm.

Implementing an animal care assessment will help producers manage animal care an demonstrate this to customers.

All areas of swine production are covered.

This includes the gestation area, farrowing area, nursery barn and all finish areas.

In all the areas there are some questions that are consistent such as proper feeding and water, equipment that does not harm the animals and proper space allowances.

Manitoba is leading Canada by a long shot when it comes to adoption of the Animal Care Assessment programme.

Manitoba producers have been early adopters to the animal care programme and this shows how important this program has been to them.

As of today we have 200 producers on the Animal Care Assessment programme.

Mr Beaudin says for most producers only small changes in record keeping will be needed but he acknowledges large changes, such as equipment modification, will require time and capital investment.

As such, he encourages producers to start the Animal Care Assessment now and identify any necessary changes to allow enough time to implement the programme by 2012.

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