New Code of Practice Released for the Care and Handling of Layers


OTTAWA — Egg Farmers of Canada and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) have released the revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Layers (egg-laying hens).

“The Code of Practice is an important tool for egg farmers across the country,” explains Glen Jennings, egg farmer and chair of the Code Development Committee. “The new Code is the result of four years of in-depth scientific evaluation and rigorous discussion. The outcome balances hen welfare, behaviour and health in a manner that is sustainable and achievable by farmers.”

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.

“Canada’s more than 1,000 egg farmers are deeply committed to and strive for continuous improvements when it comes to the care and well-being of their hens,” says Roger Pelissero, chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. “Egg Farmers of Canada is a long-time supporter of the National Farm Animal Care Council. We value the leadership of the Code Committee and their dedication to evidence-based standards that serve as a key building block to our national Animal Care Program.”

Updates to the layer Code were led by a 17-person Code committee comprised of egg farmers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, egg processors, veterinarians and government representatives. Aiding in their work was a five-person Scientific Committee that included research and veterinary expertise in laying hen behaviour, health and welfare. A public comment period was held in the summer of 2016 to allow the public and all stakeholders to provide input. The new layer Code is available here.

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