Farmscape for December 24, 2004 (Episode 1676)
A new "Animal Care Assessment Tool" developed for Canadian swine producers is expected to enhance the competitive edge of Canadian agriculture.
The Animal Care Assessment Tool is modeled after the Canadian Quality Assurance program and is designed to become a module of that program.
Canadian Pork Council Executive Associate Catherine Scovil says the assessment tool is a mechanism for producers to demonstrate to buyers what they're doing to ensure good care of their animals.
Clip-Catherine Scovil-Canadian Pork Council
Our board of directors has said that they encourage the immediate uptake of the Animal Care Assessment Tool with a view to it becoming a compulsory component of CQA sometime in the future.
What should be noted, though, is the implementation of the assessment tool will use the structure that's currently in place for the Canadian Quality Assurance Program.
We don't want to build a separate system.
We don't want to use separate evaluators.
We want to use what's already there and build on it.
A lot of the program deals with how producers are interacting with their animals so key areas deal with stockmanship but there's also other sections that deal with nutrition and water and comfort of the animals.
The Canadian Pork Council and Canadian hog producers think the development and implementation of this Animal Care Assessment Tool is another key element of the competitiveness of Canadian agriculture and sees it as an additional module in addition to food safety and other initiatives that help demonstrate what Canadian hog producers are doing on farm.
Scovil says the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, the Canadian Meat Council and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association have reviewed and endorsed the new assessment tool.
She says, while details of how the tool will link with the CQA program are still being finalized, it will be available to producers early in the new year.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council