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on June 15, 2016

New Code of Practice for the care and handling of hatching eggs, breeders, chickens, and turkeys

Canada's Codes of Practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals

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 release of the revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens, and Turkeys.

Canada's Codes of Practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. They serve as the foundation for ensuring that farm animals are cared for using sound management and welfare practices that promote animal health and well-being. Codes are used as educational tools, reference materials for regulations, and the foundation for industry animal care assessment programs.

"The Code of Practice supports the sustainability of Canadian poultry industries and the success of farmers," said Vernon Froese, poultry farmer and Chair of the Code Development Committee. "Stakeholder commitment is the key to ensuring that quality animal care standards are established and implemented"

NFACC's Code development process is a uniquely collaborative approach that ensures credibility and transparency through scientific rigor, stakeholder collaboration, and consistency. Updates to the poultry Code were led by a 15-person Code committee comprised of poultry farmers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, hatcheries, transporters, processors, veterinarians, and government representatives. Aiding in their work was a five-person Scientific Committee that included research and veterinary expertise in poultry behavior, health and welfare. A public comment period was held in the fall of 2015 to allow the public and all stakeholders to provide 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. "A step forward has been taken with the completion of this Code."

Canada's Codes of Practice are a powerful tool for meeting rising consumer, marketplace and societal expectations relative to farm animal welfare. Codes support responsible animal care practices and keep everyone involved in farm animal care and handling on the same page.

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