OTTAWA — The Egg Farmers of Canada and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) announced this week that the public comment period on the draft Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Layers has been launched. This period provides stakeholders, such as poultry producers, consumers and the general public with an interest in the health and welfare of laying hens, to view the draft Code of Practice and offer feedback.
“Egg Farmers of Canada is committed to continuous improvements and a high standard of care for laying hens in a manner that is sustainable and implementable by all farmers in Canada,” says Peter Clarke, chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. “We value the National Farm Animal Care Council’s leadership and the rigorous, multi-stakeholder approach to developing the evidence-based standards that will enhance our national Animal Care Program.”
The final Code of Practice will ensure the sound management of laying hens with considerations given to housing, care, transportation and other animal husbandry practices. This process first began in 2012 when, with the support of the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, the Egg Farmers of Canada introduced the Code development review process.
“The Code development process helps diverse communities work together to improve the lives of farm animals,” says poultry welfare expert, Dr. Ian Duncan, who represents the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies on the Code Committee. “We hope for broad participation in the public comment period. It’s an important opportunity to improve the quality and success of each Code.”
The draft Code and the public comment system, which closes August 29, is accessible at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/poultry-layers. Following the public comment period, the Code Development Committee will review all submitted comments and release a finalized copy by the end of the year.