The new ACP is enhanced in areas including the environment, bird monitoring and handling, as well as health care practices, and emergency management and preparedness. This reinforces the importance of having one national program implemented on farms from coast-to-coast.
The program is also currently undergoing its third year of comprehensive third-party audits. NSF International's reports have concluded that "The national Animal Care Program has been implemented effectively and maintained on an on-going basis. Animal care measures have been consistently applied." NSF is an internationally-recognized, third-party certification body, accredited by the American National Standards Institute to ISO 17065.
"Our Animal Care Program is a clear demonstration of farmers' commitment to animal care," said Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "The Raised by a Canadian Farmer brand is synonymous with food safety, animal care, sustainability and quality. This program is a part of what that brand represents. Consumers want the best from their local farmers, and this program delivers"
This mandatory, enforced, and third-party-audited program has a credible, science-based foundation. It is based on the Code of Practice developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). The content of the ACP has also been independently reviewed by NFACC and found to have met all requirements outlined in Canada's Animal Care Assessment Framework.
NFACC is a world leader in bringing together stakeholders with different perspectives – farmers, veterinarians, processors, transporters, animal welfare associations, researchers, and provincial/federal governments – to develop robust and sound Codes of Practice, which are the nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals using sound management and welfare practices that promote animal health and well-being.
"Ours is the only program that can ensure some of the highest animal care standards across every chicken farm in Canada. No other program can achieve this reach," said Fontaine. "We have come a long way with the implementation of on-farm programs, and with the growth in our industry which has contributed to the Canadian economy and helps support rural communities. The work doesn't stop there, though. We'll always have more to do and we will continually evolve to improve our practices and deliver on the expectations of Canadian consumers."