Success! Canada Bans Gestation Crates For Pigs

Success! Canada Bans Gestation Crates For Pigs

Postby Oscar » Sun May 11, 2014 6:22 am

Success! Canada Bans Gestation Crates For Pigs

[ http://www.care2.com/causes/success-can ... -pigs.html ]

by Kristina Chew March 7, 2014 5:30 pm

Thanks to 37,000 Care2 members taking action, the more than one million pregnant pigs on Canadian farms will not have to spend their lives confined in a space so small they can’t even turn around. A Care2 petition demanded an urgent response to help mother pigs — and Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council and the Canadian Pork Council have created new regulations that ban the continuous confinement of sows.

A new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs has just been released. Significantly, the new Code of Practice includes a long-overdue ban on continuously confining pregnant sows in gestation crates which, in an age of industrial-scale farming, have become a standard practice in North America. Facilities that are built or renovated after July 1, 2014 must now have group housing systems for pregnant sows, instead of keeping them in crates barely bigger than their own bodies.

Pig producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, processors, veterinarians and government representatives all worked in close consultation with a Scientific Committee (with specific expertise in pig behavior, health and welfare) to create Canada’s new regulations. In addition to calling for a ban on gestation crates, the new Code of Practice requires mandatory pain relief for pigs during castration and tail docking.

(Yes, it’s outrageous those weren’t already mandatory.)

There’s no question that pigs kept in gestation crates suffer horrifically in conditions that would be considered torture for human beings. The crates simply aren’t necessary to raise pigs. For generations, family farms have been raising these intelligent and social animals without crates.

Recognizing all this, nine U.S. states and the European Union have already passed legislation banning the continual confinement of breeding pigs. Major U.S. pork producers including Smithfield, Hormel, Tyson, Olymel and Maple Leaf Foods have been moving away from using gestation crates. The vast majority of Canadians (84 percent in a recent national poll) oppose the use of the crates.

We Can Still Do More to Improve the Lives of Pigs and Farm Animals

As Sayara Thurston, campaign manager with Humane Society International (HSI)/Canada, says, the new Code of Practice is a “monumental first step.” Nonetheless, she also makes it clear that much remains to be done to “improve the welfare of pigs raised on Canadian farms.” Barbara Cartwright, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, observes that “even higher standards” than those in the new Code of Practice are needed to ensure the welfare of pigs.

It’s a huge step forward that pregnant pigs on Canadian farms won’t have to spend their lives in cramped surroundings and you helped to make it happen. There are many more ways that Canada’s pork industry could improve the lives of pigs.

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New Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs released

[ http://www.nfacc.ca/news?articleid=221 ]

(Ottawa) 06 March 2014 – The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) are pleased to announce the release of the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs. The Code is available electronically at [ www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/pigs ].

“This Code reflects producers’ continued commitment to animal health and welfare and dedication to responsible animal husbandry,” says Florian Possberg, chair of the pig Code Development Committee. “The groups around the table worked well together. There were many challenges to updating the Code but we worked through them methodically. We took a science-informed focus, looking at what's best for the animals but also reasonable and practical for the industry."

The Code’s development was led by a 17-person Code committee comprised of pig producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, processors, veterinarians and government representatives. Aiding in their work was a six-person Scientific Committee that included research and veterinary expertise in pig behaviour, health and welfare.

“This new Code of Practice is a turning point for the welfare of pigs in Canada,” said Barbara Cartwright, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the only animal welfare organization at the Code table. “It signals the end of gestation stalls, an achievement secured against significant obstacles. Pigs’ lives will also be improved by mandatory pain relief during castration and tail docking. However, we encourage producers to provide even higher standards than the Code requires.”

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. They are our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices, providing a foundation for animal care assessment programs and in some provinces, regulatory activities.

Under the NFACC Code development process, amendments to nine Codes of Practice have been undertaken since 2008. The pig Code is the sixth Code of Practice to be completed with support through the Agricultural Flexibility Fund, with a further two Codes currently under revision. More information on the Code development process is available at [ www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice ].

Code of Practice updates initiated from 2010 to 2013 are part of the project: Addressing Domestic and International Market Expectations Relative to Farm Animal Welfare
 – a project made possible through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

About the National Farm Animal Care Council

NFACC is a collaborative partnership of diverse stakeholders created in 2005 to share information and work together on farm animal care and welfare. It is the national lead for farm animal care issues in Canada. NFACC would like to acknowledge the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC) for their role in securing funding for this project. For more information on NFACC visit [ www.nfacc.ca ].

About Canadian Pork Council

CPC serves as the national voice for hog producers in Canada. A federation of nine provincial pork industry associations, the organization's purpose is to play a leadership role in achieving and maintaining a dynamic and prosperous Canadian pork sector. For more information on CPC visit [ www.cpc-ccp.com ]. - 30 -

For more information contact:

Jackie Wepruk, General Manager and Project Coordinator,
National Farm Animal Care Council,
Phone: 403-783-4066, nfacc@xplornet.com,
www.nfacc.ca

Gary Stordy, Public Relations Manager,
Canadian Pork Council,
613-236-9239 Ext. 277, stordy@cpc-ccp.com,
www.cpc-ccp.com
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Re: Success! Canada Bans Gestation Crates For Pigs

Postby Oscar » Sat May 28, 2016 3:49 pm

Happy sows make happy people

[ http://www.producer.com/2016/05/happy-s ... py-people/ ]

Maple Leaf says its conversion to open housing has improved the environment for workers

Posted May. 19th, 2016 by Robert Arnason

Animal welfare advocates have said that sows should be kept in open housing, rather than crates, to improve their quality of life.

However, Maple Leaf Foods, which is switching all of its barns in Canada to open housing, is learning that sows aren’t the only ones who benefit from the switch.

“Humans that are also in those barns are happier,” said Greg Douglas, Maple Leaf’s vice-president of animal care.

Maple Leaf began converting its barns from gestation stalls to a loose housing system for sows in 2013. In a sustainability report released early this month, the company said it has moved 14,500 sows to loose housing and hopes to have 35,000 sows in the open system by 2017.

“We are going to transition every barn, every sow barn that we have in our control, to open sow housing. We’re going to do that as expediently as we possibly can,” said Douglas, who joined Maple Leaf in July.

He was formerly the chief veterinarian in Ontario and before that the chief vet in Saskatchewan.

Maple Leaf says it hired Douglas because the company wants to be an industry leader in animal welfare.

“The humane treatment of animals for food production is a social and ethical priority and a responsibility that we take extremely seriously,” said president Michael McCain.


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All hog producers in Canada will soon need to follow Maple Leaf’s lead. The Canadian code of practice for the care and handling of pigs requires that all new buildings and renovations accommodate sows in groups during gestation by July 1, 2024.

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