Ottawa, Ont. – Canada’s pork industry now has a new Code of Practice.
The updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs is the result of three years of multi-stakeholder consultations and a 60-day public comment period. It is a product of the National Farm Animal Care Council and the Code Development Committee, a committee that includes pig producers, scientists, transporters, processors, veterinarians, government, and representatives from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.
“The new Code of Practice is a significant step forward for the Canadian industry,” says Florian Possberg, a pork producer and Chair of the Code Development Committee. “It is a step that recognizes the healthy and rigorous debate of a diverse group of stakeholders to constructively address pig welfare in Canada.”
The revised guidelines include more than 100 animal care rules. With this new Code the sector commits to adopting loose housing for sows and gilts in all facilities built after July 1, and to phase-out older structures that restrict movement by 2024. The guidelines also prescribe new pain control requirements in the castration of piglets over 10 days of age.
Foodservice companies, including McDonald’s and Tim Hortons Inc., have vowed to buy pork only from producers that do not use sow stalls, also known as gestation crates. The crates, which are typically seven feet long and two feet wide, restrict the movement of breeding sows, causing stress for the animal.
The Code is available online at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/pigs