UBC Scientists Calls for Greater Support for Animal Welfare Research
Farmscape for May 16, 2002 (Episode 966)
A University of British Columbia animal welfare expert is calling for more support for the research that's allowing livestock producers to operate in a more animal friendly manner.
In response to public demand for more accountability within the livestock industry, the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the Food Marketing Institute are developing harmonized animal welfare standards on behalf of their member companies.
Dr. David Fraser says animals are seen as more human like than in the past and there's a greater social awareness of the methods used in producing, transporting and slaughtering animals.
He says, for producers to make the adjustments consumers are coming to expect, they need to have access to the latest technology and the expertise to incorporate it into their operations.
Clip-Dr. David Fraser-University of British Columbia
Producers really need good research and development in the area of animal welfare and the technology needed to ensure a high standard of animal welfare.
We really need the research, the development, the on farm trials and the extension and expertise all as an integrated package.
If any of the four levels is missing we may find ourselves with a dysfunctional system.
We could have the first three steps but then we lack a good extension service to make that information readily available to producers.
I think Canadian agriculture has suffered in the past by having good strength in some of those elements but not all at the same time working together in a coherent package of services.
Dr. Fraser is encouraging livestock industries to take an active role in development of the new standards.
He says there's a lot of scope for the industries themselves to come up with proposals then suggest them to bodies like the Food Marketing Institute and the National Council of Chain Restaurants to get their support.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council