Farmscape for February 3, 2016
A professor with the University of British Columbia says changes in attitudes toward animal welfare are being driven by both the public and those involved in raising animals.
"30 Years of Animal Welfare" will be discussed during the 2016 Manitoba Swine Seminar underway today and tomorrow in Winnipeg.
Dr. David Frazer, a professor in the Animal Welfare Program with the University of British Columbia, says, especially since 2000, we've seen an almost global attention to animal welfare driven by public values and interests as well as within agriculture.
Clip-Dr. David Frazer-University of British Columbia:
The ideas are also catching on with people within the sectors, the producers, veterinarians are driving this.
An example of this would be the World Organization for Animal Health.
It now has 180 member countries.
Almost all of the countries in the world are members and that organization, the member nations, voted I think unanimously back in 2001 to start developing global standards for animal welfare.
The significance for Canada may not be as great because we were already paying attention to the issue but in many of the countries there are no regulations, no standards, no infrastructure for animal welfare so this program is having a huge impact.
All of that, I think, is driven by attitudes not just by the public as critics but also the attitudes of people within the sector wanting to be more professional, better respected by society and so on.
Dr. Fraser says the most significant example of change is the National Farm Animal Care Council's process for updating Codes of Practice for Animal Care.
He notes it starts with a review of the science, then brings together farmers, veterinarians, animal welfare organizations and government in an consensus based approach to make changes, then provides public consultation prior to adoption.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork