Strong Response on Draft Pig Code of Practice

9 August 2013, at 8:17am

CANADA - The National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) reports that more than 4,700 comments were received in response to the release of its draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs in Canada, writes Bruce Cochrane.

NFACC is coordinating the update of eight codes of practice for the care and handling of livestock in Canada.

The 60-day public comment period for the draft Pig Code of Practice ended on 3 August.

NFACC general manager, Jackie Wepruck, reports submissions have been received from individuals as well as organizations representing producers from all segments of the industry, processors, animal welfare advocates, consumers, veterinarians, retailers, food service groups as well as government.

Jackie Wepruck - National Farm Animal Care Council

The public comment period has received over 47 hundred submissions.

This is really substantial.

Previously both the equine and the beef code public comment periods received over 600 submissions which we thought was substantial at that point.

However, the response we've seen on the pig code reflects the tremendous public attention that has been focused on this particular code.

The draft pig code has proposed changes in a number of key areas that I think many people are increasingly aware of including transitioning toward more limited use of gestation stalls by 2024, changes to space allowances for different classes of pigs and a requirement for pain control when performing castration after 14 days.

I think those are kind of the key ones that are garnering the most attention.

Of course, the proposed transition toward limited use of gestation stalls by 2024 has certainly garnered the most and the greatest public attention as there are some very polarised views on that issue that the code development committee will be considering.

Ms Wepruck added that, over the coming months, the Pig Code Development Committee will be sorting through the submissions and working toward consensus on a final code.

She acknowledges it is a tremendous challenge but the goal is still to have a final code ready by the end of 2013.