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New recognition further strengthens Egg Farmers of Canada's national Animal Care Program

OTTAWA, ON, - Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) is pleased to announce that its redeveloped Animal Care Program has been independently reviewed and recognized by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). The process confirmed that the assessment program meets all requirements outlined in the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pullets and Laying Hens. This important milestone was achieved after a multi-year process that followed NFACC's robust Framework for Developing Animal Care Assessment Programs and the outcome further bolsters EFC's ongoing commitment to rigorous animal welfare standards.

"Canada's more than 1,200 egg farmers located in all provinces and in the Northwest Territories uphold world-leading practices in animal care," says Roger Pelissero, Chair of EFC. "That's because they follow thorough standards, are regularly audited and there are mechanisms in place to hold all accountable. Today's recognition confirms that our sector has fully embraced the requirements of our industry's Code of Practice, adding further confidence to our approach."

"Congratulations to Egg Farmers of Canada on achieving NFACC recognition for their on-farm animal care assessment program," says Jackie Wepruk, Division Director of the National Farm Animal Care Council. "The importance of this high-level of assurance cannot be overstated. It provides Canada's livestock industries with a mechanism to maintain and strengthen their social licence with the public. It also offers the broader food industry a powerful means to provide customers and consumers with assurance that their products meet expectations for animal welfare."

NFACC's Framework for Developing Animal Care Assessment Programs is consensus based and draws in stakeholders from across the food value chain, including representatives from the retail and restaurant sectors, scientists and veterinarians, animal welfare experts, farmers, and government representatives. Hand-in-hand with the national Codes of Practice developed under NFACC's guidance, animal care assessment programs—such as EFC's Animal Care Program—play a critical role in ensuring that farm animals are cared for using sound management and welfare practices that promote animal health and well-being.

EFC's national Animal Care Program includes regular inspections and third-party audits, which hold farmers accountable and ensure standards are applied consistently across the country. A redeveloped Animal Care Program was launched earlier this month, with farmers actively adapting to the new measures. This national Animal Care Program is also the foundation of EFC's Egg Quality Assurance™ (EQA®) certification program, an industry-wide initiative that certifies Canadian eggs are produced according to strict food safety and animal welfare standards. 

Source : Newswire.ca

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