Balance Required in Pig Code of Practice Revisions

by 5m Editor
17 July 2012, at 11:27am

CANADA - The chair of the National Farm Animal Care Council's Pig Code Development Committee says revisions to the Pig Code of Practice must consider the needs of the animal, the needs of the producer and the demands of the consumer, Bruce Cochrane writes.

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, is drafting a revised Pig Code of Practice.

The code, which outlines minimum standards for the care of swine in Canada, was last updated in 1993.

Pig Code Development Committee chair Florian Possberg says members are dealing with some tough issues and we know there's a wide variety of opinions so it's important to strike the right balance.

Florian Possberg-Pig Code Development Committee

We've had to deal with some controversial issues like gestation stalls.

You're probably aware that we have various companies have taken positions on gestation stalls so that's definitely something that we're dealing with.

Around gestation stalls includes the whole area of sow housing and how we take care of that with still providing good animal welfare for our breeding stock.

Painful procedures, how we process, tail dock, teeth clip, castrate, all those things are an area that we're looking at as well as space allowance, minimum standards for how much space we give our animals at various stages so it's pretty broad and really provides a basis for good animal care.

Mr Possberg notes the decision to update the code was made about three years ago and the Pig Code Development Committee was struck over a year ago.

He says the goal of the effort is to have a final draft of the new code sometime this fall at which time it will go for public review and the hope is to have a new code in place by June or July of 2013.

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