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Chicken farmers commit to animal care


July 24, 2012
By Chicken Farmers of Canada

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Jul. 24, 2012, Winnipeg, MB – The Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) and all 10 provincial chicken marketing boards celebrated the implementation of the CFC Animal Care Program at the CFC Summer Meeting in Winnipeg today, by signing a memorandum of understanding for the implementation and certification services.

The Animal Care Program is a comprehensive program that stipulates animal care production requirements to ensure animal care standards. This signing reflects the commitment of all 10 Provincial Chicken Boards and Chicken Farmers of Canada to implement and maintain a comprehensive national animal care program and demonstrates the level of animal care on Canadian chicken farms.

The program’s implementation has been supported by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, the Further Poultry Processors Council, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.

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“The commitment demonstrated in signing this memorandum of understanding is confirmed by the accomplishment of so many Canadian chicken farmers to achieve certification, which enhances the many reasons that we are proud to grow the chicken Canadians trust,” indicated Dave Janzen, Chairman of CFC.

The majority of chicken farmers have achieved certification on the program; this number is expected to continue to rise as farms undergo the animal care audit which is being conducted in conjunction with their annual on-farm food safety assurance program audit. Two provinces, Alberta and Prince Edward Island, have already achieved 100% certification and several other provinces will be in the same position within months.

The CFC received an investment of up to $72,500 from the federal government amd will use this investment to undergo an audit of its on-farm food safety system, helping to ensure that the chicken industry follows top-notch safety procedures and practices. The CFC will then proceed to the final stage of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s On-Farm Food Safety Recognition Program. This national program follows the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles to make sure that potential food safety problems are caught before products leave the farm gate.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding, witnessed by the Honourable Ron Kostyshyn, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives for the Government of Manitoba, outlines the division of roles, responsibilities and authorities between the provincial chicken boards and Chicken Farmers of Canada in order to deliver a credible system to provide on-farm audits and certification services to all Canadian chicken farmers.

The CFC is working toward becoming the first organization to achieve full recognition by this program, and other organizations will be able to learn from the experiences of this pilot project. A strong, government-recognized food safety system will give Canadians more assurance that food products are handled safely, helping to boost farmers’ bottom line.

Chicken Farmers of Canada is online at www.chicken.ca.