OTTAWA, Ontario – The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International), an internationally recognized, third-party certification body, recently released a report regarding Chicken Farmers of Canada’s (CFC) Mandatory Animal Care Program. NSF’s report stated, “The National Animal Care Program has been implemented effectively and maintained on an on-going basis. Animal care measures have been consistently applied.”
The roots of the National Animal Care Program are science-based on the foundations of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Hatching Eggs, Breeders, Chickens and Turkeys, as developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC).
CFC’s Animal Care Program enforces measures for non-compliance and guarantees a single national standard for consistency of requirements and record keeping on all Canadian chicken farms.
CFC started the program in 2009. It includes all 2,800 broiler chicken farms in Canada and has been subject to third-party audits since 2016. NSF’s audits use Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) certified auditors to ensure effectiveness and consistency of the Animal Care Program.
NFACC’s code development starts with a scientific review, and once NFACC drafts the code, it undergoes public consultation. This allows all Canadians the opportunity to contribute to the final draft. CFC has begun to implement new requirements and updates to the Animal Care Program through engagement with a group of experts using NFACC’s Animal Care Assessment framework.
In addition to continually funding animal research as a priority into the future, CFC is petitioning the federal government to implement animal care protocols in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's next Agricultural Policy Framework, similar to those used for on-farm food safety recognition protocols. This type of system would leverage the work performed by NFACC and organizations such as CFC that are implementing one auditable, mandatory standard to effectively demonstrate the level of animal care on Canadian farms.
NSFI is accredited by the American National Standards Institute to ISO 17065 and acting as third-party auditor.