Humane Treatment of Farmed Animals

by Humane Canada
Humane Treatment of Farmed Animals

The draft Codes of Practice for Beef Cattle and Horses (Equine) are now open for public consultation. This is your opportunity to have a direct impact on the welfare of these animals.

 

The Beef Code is open until March 8th 2013.

Click here to comment.

Click here to read the draft Beef Code.

 

The Equine Code of practice is open until February 14th 2013.

Click here to comment.

Click here to read the draft Equine Code.

 

UPDATE ON PIG CODE OF PRACTICE - This code should be open for public comment on June 1st 2013. To learn more about pig farming in Canada watch the W5 undercover investigation "Food for Thought".  

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New national Codes of Practice for the welfare of horses, pigs, cattle and sheep are now entering the final stages of negotiation and public comment periods will be held in fall of 2012 and early 2013, providing an opportunity to the public to express their expectations for Canada to meet higher standards.

The process of developing an implementing Codes of Practice is a long and complicated one.  It's important to note that once these codes are finished being revised, it will be at least five years before they’re revisited. We need to pour significant resources into our work to improve them right now. Every dollar contributed TODAY by caring Canadians like you puts us in a better position to secure a humane life for farm animals.   

If you are interested in being involved in the process of submitting concerns/expectations, please let me know at: davidd@cfhs.ca.

Convened by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), the Codes set out minimum requirements for treatment of all farm animals in Canada and serve as reference documents for animal cruelty law. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies serves as the voice of the Canadian humane movement at the table.

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As the CFHS is pushing for more humane standards of care on Canadian farms, it might help you the Five Freedoms.

We use the Five Freedoms to guide and determine animal welfare. The Five Freedoms describe conditions that must be fulfilled in order to prevent the suffering of domesticated animals in human care.This is a concept that was originally developed in 1965 by the UK Government based on the "Brambell" report and is specifically designed to guide how animals under human control should be treated.

The five freedoms are:

1. Freedom from hunger and thirst

2. Freedom from pain, injury, and disease

3. Freedom from distress

4. Freedom from discomfort

5. Freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being

These five freedom concepts are what drives the CFHS when we negotiating on behalf of Canadian farm animals.

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As the only national animal welfare organization represented on the National Farm Animal Care Council, the CFHS is tasked with the responsibility of advocating for the welfare of over 700 million farm animals across Canada.

One of the key farm animal codes currently being negotiated is the pork code.  This code will determine a farmer’s responsibility to the welfare of his/her animals, including the amount of enrichment time that is needed and laying out a timeline to phase out the use of gestation stalls. 

As we are influencing the process from one end, it is great to see retailers and major food services companies pushing for animal welfare reform from the other end.  Recently, McDonalds and the Compass Group have made public their plans to only purchase humanely raised pork products.

More information on the Compass Group decision can be found here:  http://www.mfablog.org/2012/03/worlds-largest-foodservice-company-announces-plan-to-cut-gestation-crates.html

More information on McDonalds can be found here:  http://www.mfablog.org/2012/02/mcdonalds-announces-plans-to-phase-out-cruel-gestation-crates.html

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The group of industry codes currently being revised by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) include:

  • Pigs:  scientific reports on industry best practices and research have been submitted to the code committee for review and negotiation.
  • Beef: scientific reports on industry best practices and research have been submitted to the code committee for review and negotiation.
  • Horses:  scientific reports on industry best practices and research have been submitted to the code committee for review and negotiation.  In addition the horse owner community is being surveyed to determine their top concerns with respect to humane practices specific to horse care.
  • Mink and Fox:  scientific reports on industry best practices and research have been submitted to the code committee for review and negotiation.
  • Sheep:  this specific code was started later than the others and is approximately 25% completed.

In addition to the current group of codes, the poultry industry has approached the NFACC to start the code process for meat poultry (broilers and turkey), laying hens and egg producers.  This group of codes should start in 2012/2013.

Links:

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Humane Canada

Location: Ottawa, ON - Canada
Website:
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Twitter: @humanecanada
Project Leader:
Melissa Devlin
Ottawa, ON Canada
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