Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. – Ecolait Ltd. has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island with the goal of developing the company’s animal welfare practices into a global standard.
Ecolait, based in Saint-Hyacinthe, produces a range of veal products in collaboration with more than 100 family farms in Quebec.
The comprehensive research program at the Atlantic Veterinary College will bring together researchers to study issues such as animal protection and welfare, herd health studies, housing design, medication trials and meat quality. The partnership will also lead to training manuals and specifications for producers around animal husbandry protocols.
“Quebec’s milk-fed veal industry must not only in the short term continue to meet international animal welfare standards, but must also become a model on a global scale, and quickly,” said Mario Maillet, president of Ecolait, in making the announcement. “Given the quality of our researchers, the quality of our workforce and the desire of both consumers and producers, Ecolait is poised to become a model for the entire industry.”
The company has said that by the end of 2014 it will have in place “a series of concrete measures aimed at fulfilling its commitment to becoming a North American model and standard for animal welfare values.”