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Dairy Cattle Code of Practice comment window open

Dairy Cattle Code of Practice comment window open

The public has until Jan. 27 to submit remarks

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Canadians have until the end of the month to submit comments on an updated farm animal code of practice.

The public has until Jan. 27 to provide comments on the updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle.

The National Farm Animal Care Council and Dairy Farmers of Canada released an updated version of the Code in November 2021 after beginning the process in January 2019.

The new finalized document will update the Code from 2009.

The 84-page Code includes welfare issues identified by the Code Development Committee and Scientific Committee.

These issues include stall design, lameness and injuries and end-of-life management.

When it comes to stalls, for example, the updated Code encourages producers to further the trend of moving away from tie stalls.

“The number of tie stall barns being built in Canada and internationally has been steadily declining for many years,” the Code says. “Farmers building a new barn are encouraged to continue this trend, one that was initiated within the dairy industry and that aligns with research on consumer/public viewpoints, and the long-term social sustainability of the industry.”

In 2020, dairy herds enrolled in the Milk Recording Program were housed in 4,198 tie stall barns, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada data shows.

This is down from 7,444 tie stalls in Canada between September 2014 and August 2015, data from the National Dairy Study says.

Dairy farmers involved with creating the new Code look forward to receiving public feedback.

“We welcome perspectives from our fellow Canadians to help guide the continuous improvement and optimization of farming practices,” David Wiens, a Manitoba producer and chair of the Code Development Committee, said in a statement.

The final Code of Practice will be released later this year.

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