British Columbians will have new clarity on how the Province is strengthening animal welfare, with the adoption of the National Farm Animal Care Council Codes of Practice.
The codes are generally accepted management practices for owners of farm animals in B.C.
“B.C. livestock and poultry farmers have worked closely with our government to implement the National Farm Animal Care Council’s Codes of Practice,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “By accepting these codes of practice in their animal management practices, farmers and ranchers are making it clear that animals in their care are being treated with the utmost care and respect.”
The codes of practice are for owners and employees, and include areas such as animal handling, feed and water, housing, health and welfare management, and husbandry practices. The codes of practice for farmers of meat livestock, poultry and fur animals is scheduled to become B.C. law on June 1, 2019. The Dairy Code of Practice has been a part of B.C. law since July 9, 2015.
“Livestock producers take animal care and welfare very seriously, realizing that they are responsible for giving their animals the best care and treatment possible throughout their life,” said Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. “The National Farm Animal Care Council's Codes of Practice are being implemented to make sure that the best possible practices are being utilized.”
The ministry has engaged and consulted with industry associations and the BC SPCA on the adoption of the codes since 2018. That collaboration will continue. The Province will facilitate conversations between the BC SPCA and industry associations to help determine the qualifications and any further training that will need to be provided to BC SPCA special constables in the coming months, focusing on referencing the codes in regulation, the reasonable and generally acceptable livestock management practices, the importance of guidance and support they provide to livestock operators, and the role of special constables within the context of the act.
"The BC SPCA is pleased to see this step forward for the protection of farm animals in British Columbia," said Craig Daniell, chief executive officer of the BC SPCA. "It is important that industry, government, animal welfare organizations and consumers work together to ensure the highest levels of welfare for the millions of farm animals raised in our province each year."
- The new codes cover beef, bison, hatching eggs, poultry breeders, chickens and turkeys, equines, farmed fox, farmed mink, pigs, pullets and laying hens, rabbits, sheep and veal cattle.
For more information on the NFACC Codes of Practice: http://www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice