Farmscape for March 1, 2019
The NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare says Canada's pork sector is responding to a growing public interest in animal welfare.
The update of Canada's Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs, amendments to Canada's Health of Animals Regulations governing the transport of animals that will take effect one year from now and a planned update of Canada's Transport Code of Practice are changing the approach to animal welfare.
Dr. Yolande Seddon, an assistant professor in swine behavior and welfare with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare, says public attitudes toward food production and animal welfare have been evolving for many years.
Clip-Dr. Yolande Seddon-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
Consumers are interested to know how their food is produced, food safety concerns, video footage being released on the internet showing conditions in barns making people question how are animals being raised, scientific evidence saying that pigs have a greater capacity for feeling than we perhaps realized, sentient beings.
All of this is driving curiosity and questions about how are animals raised, how do we care for them and in particular focus on their welfare.
In the next 11 years the code of practice will go for another revision and, in terms of that, the science has progressed quite a lot in the last 10 years and this will be considered in the code of practice.
We have a lot of information on how environmental enrichment influences pigs, we have increasing information about alternative farrowing systems and how we can manage them.
All of this will go into progressing our approach to animal care.
All of this will be coming down the line and ultimately it's a process, it will evolve but, with innovation and dedication I think we can raise the bar.
Dr. Seddon says consumer attitudes continue to evolve, especially among those in nations that are able to afford greater quantities of meat products and consumers do have a place at the table in all of this.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork