The Chair of National Farm Animal Care Council's Pig Code Development Committee says Canada's updated Pig Code of Practice sets Canada apart in terms of how we care for our animals.
Last week the National Farm Animal Care Council released its final updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs in Canada.
In response to the public's desire for more freedom of movement, under the final revised code all new facilities will need to house sows in groups, the new code outlines pain relief during painful procedures and, recognising these are intelligent animals, there is more emphasis on enrichment of their environment.
Pig Code Development Committee chair Florian Possberg says the biggest change from the draft update revolves around the conversion of existing facilities to group housing.
Florian Possberg-Code Development Committee:
In the draft code we anticipated that we would require existing sow confinement systems to convert to a more open system.
What we found though is that the cost of converting existing facilities and quite frankly in some situations the impracticality of converting some existing situations.
Not just the cost being prohibitive but the logistics of actually doing it could very well lead to a lower standard of animal welfare for the animals that were forced into bad systems and we came to the conclusion that that's not where we want to be so existing operations can continue to function as long as they do it in a very good manner but the industry will, over time, convert totally to the new system.
Possberg acknowledges it did take awhile to complete the process but he believes it sets Canada apart in terms of how we care for our animals and our consumers, our producers and our retailers can all be proud that we in Canada take animal welfare very seriously.