The development of a code of practice covering the care and handling of laying hens in Canada has been released in draft form for a two-month period of public comment.
Devised by Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) and the country’s National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), the draft code is the result of a “consensus-based, multi-stakeholder approach” which has drawn on input from all relevant stakeholders with responsibility for animal care standards.
“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,” said EFC chairman, Peter Clarke.
The code, which is designed to promote sound management and welfare practices through recommendations and requirements for housing, care, transportation, and other animal husbandry practices, has been in development since April 2012. In addition to using the NFACC code development process, EFC has also had support from the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and Pullet Growers of Canada.
By releasing the draft code for public comment, EFC says it is looking for poultry producers, consumers and all others with an interest in the welfare of laying hens to provide input for the writing of the industry’s final code, which is due to be completed by the end of 2016.