By the end of 2018, Canadian chicken farming will reach two significant milestones related to the use of antibiotics.
Feeding young broiler breeders around the world generally involves restriction starting when the chicks are one week or a few weeks of age. This is done so that they grow at a rate that supports their health and welfare – one that prevents obesity, lameness and reproductive problems.
Last year, Canadian Poultry outlined how some North American retailers were starting to source slow-growth broiler meat due to pressure over welfare concerns with conventionally grown chickens. Now, we look at economic, environmental and animal welfare factors attached to slow-growth broilers and also at Europe’s experience.
Whole bird turkey sales in Canada have declined quite a bit over the last few years, especially during the last two. Still, the turkey sector in Canada and in the U.S. continues to find success building consumption of other products.
Chicken farmers across Canada are rolling out the latest changes to the Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program (ACP).
The International Egg Commission and its members support, and will promote, the responsible use of all antimicrobials to allow for the long-term safe production of eggs, safeguarding the availability of eggs and egg products for the world’s consumers.
Undercover video. Two words that will send shivers up the spine of anyone who works in agriculture and food. There have been well over 200 undercover videos in the U.S. and 16 in Canada since 2012 targeting agriculture from farms through to processing. While it’s human nature to hope one never focuses on you, your company, suppliers or customers – it’s always better to be prepared.
Bill Van Heyst grew up on a mixed farm near Grand Bend, Ont. He remembers looking after 500 laying hens – that was the maximum amount allowed under quota at the time. He also remembers switching over the old tunnel ventilated 1960s vintage poultry barn to battery cages from free-range. If he’d only known then that free-range would be fashionable once again…
Growing interest in the concept and practice of sustainable sourcing is redefining relationships and expectations in the agri-food landscape. Sustainable sourcing, simply put, refers to procurement of goods or services subject to their meeting a specified set of socio-economic, animal welfare and environmental sustainability criteria.
Summer has come and gone and fall is now here. It’s once again time to take a look at your maintenance program and go over the equipment to ensure everything is running efficiently.
Canadian egg farmers are concerned with the outcome of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which is now called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The UN’s SDGs represent a shared vision to eradicate poverty and social inequality, and to tackle climate change by 2030. A social contract between the world’s leaders, the successful delivery of this ambitious blueprint is dependent on engagement and participation from international industry. The WEO has outlined key areas where it is delivering positive outcomes in line with the UN’s targets.
Of the UN’s 17 goals to transform our world, the WEO has identified six primary objectives where the egg industry is already making a significant impact through a range of dedicated sustainability initiatives. These specifically address the following goals:
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Wellbeing
- Quality Education
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Partnerships for the Goals
This latest announcement marks the launch of the egg industry’s Global Initiative for Sustainable Eggs (GISE) which will support a range of ambitious sustainability objectives – helping to deliver the organisation’s vision of continuous improvement. These cover the following industry specific criteria:
1) Preventing the diseases of animals becoming the diseases of human kind
2) Improving nutrition
3) The elimination of forced labour
4) Environmental sustainability - the prevention of deforestation through the sustainable sourcing of soy
5) Working to ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials
6) Working to improve animal welfare
WEO Chairman, Tim Lambert, explains, “Kyoto is the perfect location for our sustainable development announcement. Many members of the international egg industry are gathered for our Global Leadership Conference and this ancient city has been the site of previous historic agreements, that seek to change our world for the better. The UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on us collectively, to initiate efforts to achieve the seventeen SDGs over the next twelve years. The global egg industry is absolutely committed to the cause."
"Society wants reassurance that companies are actively engaged with their customers and communities. Businesses have an inherent responsibility to do the right thing, for the right reasons. Through our own clearly defined goals, the egg industry is addressing the needs of people in both developed and developing countries - socially, economically and environmentally.”
GISE’s work co-exists alongside the framework of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. From social responsibility and environmental sustainability to nutrition and better operational practices – every aspect has a humanitarian focus and benefit.
An important online survey component of the project launched over the summer is already seeing strong participation across the industry.
Those who haven’t yet participated in the survey are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline. (Click here to complete the survey).
“Broad industry feedback is critical to accurately represent the extensive work being done related to livestock care in Alberta today, and to help shape future priorities and direction around this increasingly high-profile component of livestock production,” says Annemarie Pedersen, executive director, AFAC.
“We have been very encouraged by the strong initial participation in the survey, which is open to anyone involved in animal agriculture in Alberta,” says Dr. Melissa Moggy, Livestock Welfare Engagement Project Lead.
With the initial consultation completed and the survey underway, planning for the focus groups is in full swing. “Our first of five focus groups will be at Grande Prairie Regional College, Fairview Campus, on Sept 20th and we hope anyone involved in the industry will join us for an in-depth discussion of livestock welfare in Alberta,” says Moggy. The results will be a critical part of the final report to be shared with government in early 2019.
Locations and details for these additional focus groups can be found below. Focus groups will be arranged by invitation, based on survey responses. However, those who are interested in participating in their area can register.
Grande Prairie Regional College – Fairview, Alta. - Sept. 20
Lethbridge College – Lethbridge, Alta. - Sept. 25
Olds College – Olds, Alta. - Oct. 2
University of Alberta – Edmonton, Alta. - Oct. 10
Lakeland College – Vermillion, Alta. - TBA
“We encourage all livestock sectors and industry partners to participate in the upcoming groups. We have planned them to be accessible to the majority of the province and hope to meet with a diverse cross section of our industry,” says Moggy.
About the Livestock Welfare Engagement Project
The project was requested and is being funded by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. The insights and information collected through this project will be presented in a final report, which will be shared with the Government of Alberta to support its understanding of the animal welfare landscape in the province from the livestock industry’s perspective.
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