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Feds invest in animal welfare initiatives

Feds invest in animal welfare initiatives

The Canadian Animal Health Coalition will use the funds to update Codes of Practice for animal handling

Staff Writer
Livestock producers can benefit from an investment of up to $4.56 million to assist in updating the Codes of Practice for the handling of animals.
Lawrence MacAulay, minister of agriculture and agri-food, made the funding announcement yesterday, a same-day Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada release said. The Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC), on behalf of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), will use the money to help the livestock industry to “continuously improve its capacity to respond to increasing demands by consumers and markets to demonstrate the highest quality of animal care,” the release said. 
Consumers are increasingly discerning about the origins of their food and how it is produced, Jackie Wepruk, NFACC’s general manager, told today.
“Maintaining public trust is critical to the success of the livestock industry in Ontario and Canada as a whole,” she said. “Farm animal welfare is a growing consumer concern that is challenging public trust in animal agriculture. Livestock industries need to respond in credible ways to address consumer concerns and provide confidence to buyers and consumers that Canada has robust animal care standards.”
Animal welfare includes animal health, behaviour, and experience of pleasant and unpleasant states such as comfort and pain, she explained. 
“Canada’s process for developing (the) Codes of Practice takes all of these considerations into account using science-informed and multi-stakeholder approaches that address the complexities of providing good welfare in practical and economically feasible ways.” 
CAHC will put the investment toward four activities. The coalition will 
update the transportation Codes of Practice 
revise the dairy Code of Practice which will “address new scientific findings, changes in industry practices and address changes in market and consumer demands” 
update the goat Code of Practice that will “respond to growing buyer and consumer expectations for on-farm animal welfare” 
create a new Code of Practice for farmed finfish 
The welfare of livestock is something that is important to everyone in the ag industry, from “the animals themselves to producers and consumers,” Ryder Lee, chair of the NFACC, said in the release. 
“We are pleased the Government of Canada has chosen to invest in this project to help improve farm animal well-being and address expectations of consumers and the marketplace,” he added.
The feds made the investment through the AgriAssurance program of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
Updated Feb. 21, 2019
Ben185/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo 

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