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Release of Revised Code of Practice May Be Delayed

26 November 2012, at 9:26am

CANADA - The National Farm Animal Care Council anticipates release for public comment of a draft revised Pig Code of Practice will be delayed as the pork industry evaluates the potential economic impact of possible changes, writes Bruce Cochrane.

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.

Committee chair Florian Possberg says the group has been working on the initiative for just about two years.

Florian Possberg - Pig Code Development Committee:

We're almost ready to have a draft ready but we are being requested by producers to put it on pause a little bit just so that they have time to analyze whether they can institute these changes.

At the end of the day if the producers can not incorporate changes that we're proposing their option is either to go out of business or perhaps put themselves in a very negative financial position. We know our industry is going through a very bad time financially.

It's unfortunate but this is the third bad financial period we've had since 2007 so the producers are really focused on survival today.

We're optimistic that in 2013 things are going to turn around. We want to get our homework done so that the draft code will be ready when the whole industry is ready. When that happens the draft will go out for public comments and then we'll come up with a final code and hopefully that'll be ready in a year or two.

Mr Possberg stresses the code is not something that should be based on public perception.

He says pork producers want to do things that will improve the welfare of animals but public perception sometimes does not provide the best care for animals.

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