August 10, 2022


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada invests $3 million for animal welfare and tracking



Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced in an organisational release it will invest $3 million across three national organizations to improve animal welfare and tracking in Canada.


With funding under the AgriAssurance Program, the organisations will use new research to update industry standards for the care and handling of animals. The organisations will also evaluate technology to trace farm animals more efficiently in the production system in the event of a disease outbreak.


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is hoping this work will support the highest standards in farm animal care. The recipients include:


    - Animal Health Canada, located in Elora, Ontario, will receive up to $2.9 million to update national codes of practice for the livestock sector, including the code for the safe and humane transportation of livestock. It has also developed and introduced a code of practice for the aquaculture sector covering farmed salmon, trout and arctic char;


    - The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, located in Calgary, Alberta, will receive up to $52,140 to evaluate the use of ultra-high frequency (UHF) scanners to read cattle identification tags as part of Canada's commitment to the international community to quickly trace the movement of animals in the event of a disease outbreak. Tag readings are recorded in a database that makes it possible for government and industry to rapidly contain the scope of a potential outbreak, protecting animal and human health;


    - The Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council (CPEPC), located in Ottawa, Ontario, will receive up to $35,750 to update its animal welfare programme for hatcheries to meet the requirements of the National Farm Animal Care Council's Code of Practice for the care and handling of hatching eggs, breeders, chickens and turkeys.


"We're pleased to continue working collaboratively with industry, government, veterinary, and animal welfare professionals to continue in developing the Codes of Practice through the National Farm Animal Care Council, a division of Animal Health Canada," said Melanie Barham, executive director of Animal Health Canada, in the release. "Evidence-based co-development is a cornerstone of how the codes are created and updated and we are excited to lead this project into its final year of funding."


Jean-Michel Laurin, president and chief executive officer of CPEPC, stated in the release: "This important financial contribution allowed CPEPC to convene a group representing poultry producers, breeders, hatcheries, veterinarians, academics, retailers and animal welfare association representatives. Together, this group reviewed Canadian hatcheries' animal care programme, ensure it alignment with the code of practice and foster compliance across Canada's hatchery sector."


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