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Greater clarity needed in animal care codes, say Canadian hog farmers

Canada’s pork producers are demanding greater clarity as the deadline for changes to the country’s pig code of practice approaches.

George Matheson, chairman of producer body Manitoba Pork, said time was running out for farmers to be consulted about changes to regulations on the way they produce pigs, reports The Pig Site.

Matheson said Canadian Pork Excellence, the country’s new program on farm food safety and animal care assurance, is in its pilot testing phase — the final step before it becomes introduced nationally.
But despite the looming regulatory changes, he said questions still remain on several issues, including with regards to housing gestating sows.
“The main issue debated in the Pig Code of Practice was sow loose housing,” Matheson said.

“They’ve put a deadline of 2024 for a change for moving from gestation stalls to loose housing but there’s also a stipulation put in there that, by 2019, suitable alternatives would be discussed and entered into the code.

“So producers want lots of discussion in regards to what will be expected of them and what they can do.”

Matheson said producers are concerned about animal care and understand it is an important issue. But given they will be implementing the rules, they wanted more say — and time to make any necessary preparations.

“They are the ones on the front lines, they will be the ones making the changes, they will be the ones working with the changes,” he added. “They want to be consulted before this becomes regulation.”

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Posted on May 19, 2017

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