Call to be Proactive in Defining Animal Care Standards

by 5m Editor
16 March 2012, at 7:38am

CANADA - The Chair of the National Farm Animal Care Council's Pig Code Development Committee suggests pork industry stakeholders need to be proactive in defining acceptable standards of animal care, Bruce Cochrane writes.

The Pig Code of Practice outlines minimum standards for the care of pigs.

The National Farm Animal Care Council’s Pig Code Development Committee, which is made up of pork producers, practicing veterinarians, swine researchers and representatives of government and animal welfare organizations, has been working on revising the code for just over a year.

Committee Chair Florian Possberg says the purpose of code committee is to gather input from a broad cross section of stakeholders.

Florian Possberg-Pig Code Development Committee

We're covering a full spectrum of things around pig care, so everything from feed and water, housing, there's things like how we deal with compromised animals, there's sensitive issues like how we group our sows, whether they're in stalls or in group housing, painful procedures like castration is one of the things that we're looking at so it's really the full spectrum of animal welfare issues around pig production.

Our last code was updated and finalized in 1993 so that's been a few years ago and a number of things have changed, everything has changed quite frankly in the last 18 years or so so it was due for an update.

Part of the whole code process though is to try to get all commodities to update their codes and make them current.

Mr Possberg says, if you don't establish what acceptable animal care is, sometimes special interest groups will define the practices that are acceptable that may in fact not be the right thing for the animals or for the industry.

He expects the first draft of the new code to be ready this summer, it will be revised based on stakeholder input and the goal is to have a new code ready for publication by June or July of 2013.

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