OTTAWA, Ontario – Chicken farmers in Canada are pushing back against what they describe as the “inaccurate and irresponsible portrayal of Canadian chicken production.”
Chicken Farmers of Canada, which represents 2,800 farmers across Canada, said animal welfare groups used sensationalized video footage and accusations to characterize an entire industry. The group accused Mercy For Animals of using recycled video footage from previous undercover video campaigns and depicting the footage as being taken at a Canadian chicken farm. Chicken Farmers of Canada added that the targeted audience for these negative portrayals of the industry is retail and foodservice companies.
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“Over 90 percent family owned and every farm is subject to mandatory and audited animal welfare standards that have zero tolerance for animal abuse,” said Benoît Fontaine, chairman of Chicken Farmers of Canada. “We believe that this video footage isn’t from a Canadian chicken farm and appears to be recycled from previous propaganda campaigns that have taken place in other countries.”
The organization said poultry farmers in Canada are required to participate in a national Animal Care Program, a mandatory third-party-audited system that is administered across all 2,800 chicken farms in Canada. The program is based on the Code of Practice developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), which Chicken Farmers of Canada said has credible, science-based foundations and was developed with input from federal and provincial government authorities, veterinarians, processors, animal welfare groups, transporters and the public.
“Canadian chicken farms are run by hardworking men and women who take to heart their responsibility to uphold animal health and welfare on their farm and share Canadian values,” Fontaine said. “They are proud ambassadors in promoting and defending their good management practices, and believe that there is no defense for the mistreatment of birds.”