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Draft poultry Code of Practice released for public comment


October 16, 2015
By Kristy Nudds


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October 5, 2015 – The Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) are pleased to announce the launch of the public comment period on the draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens and Turkeys. The public comment period allows stakeholders – poultry producers, consumers and others with an interest in the welfare of poultry – to view the draft Code and provide input to the final Code.

The draft Code and the public comment system are available at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/chickens-turkeys-and-breeders. All comments must be submitted through the online system. The public comment period begins today and closes on December 4, 2015. The Code Development committee will consider the submitted comments after the close of the comment period. The final poultry Code of Practice is expected to be released June 2016.

A Scientific Committee report summarizing research conclusions on priority welfare topics for poultry can be found online alongside the draft Code. This peer-reviewed report aided the discussions of the Code Development Committee as it prepared the draft Code of Practice. The report, developed by world-renowned animal welfare scientists, should be reviewed prior to making a submission.

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“The Code Development Committee has worked hard since 2011 developing the draft Code. The public comment period will allow us to check our work with a broader representative group,” said Vernon Froese, poultry producer and Chair of the Code Development Committee. “Since it will fall primarily to producers to implement the Code, it is important for producers to review the draft Code and to respond with informed, rational, and constructive input.”

“The Code process provides an important opportunity for advancing farm animal welfare policy in Canada,” said poultry welfare expert Dr. Ian Duncan, representing the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies on the Code Committee. “We hope to receive broad input from the general public, industry and other stakeholders to ensure this Code improves animal welfare and reflects the values of Canadians.”

The poultry Code revision is led by a 15-person Code Development Committee that includes participants from across Canada including producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, processors, veterinarians and government representatives. More information on the Code development process is available at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice.

The poultry Code is the first of five Codes of Practice currently under revision as part of a multi-year NFACC project. Codes of Practice serve as our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices. It is important that Codes be scientifically informed, practical and reflect societal expectations for responsible farm animal care. The Codes cover housing, feed and water, handling, euthanasia, transport and other important management practices.

Funding for this project has been provided through the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward 2, a federal–provincial–territorial initiative.