Farmscape for March 15, 2016
A professor with the University of British Columbia is calling on livestock producers to work together with the major retailers, processors and restaurant chains to answer the publics' animal welfare questions.
Over the past 40 years the public has become increasing concerned with the welfare of farm animals.
Dr. David Fraser, a professor in the Animal Welfare Program at the University of British Columbia, and author of the book "Understanding Animal Welfare" says the public's high level of concern has not been matched by a high level of awareness.
Clip-Dr. David Fraser-University of British Columbia:
I think the critical step is for the animal production sectors to become organized in a way that ensures that the participants in those sectors are achieving high welfare outcomes.
That's the first step.
Once that's achieved then that would be a great message to communicate to the public.
Actually the public is receptive to relatively simple messages whereas we need to create programs that take account the complexity and difficulty of achieving good animal welfare outcomes in production systems.
I think the more important piece of communication is actually with major retailers, major processors, restaurant chains, where their corporate social responsibility people can actually devote the time and attention to understanding the complexities so that producers and distributors are working together to deliver a comprehensive program of animal welfare rather than simply trying to communicate simple messages to the public.
Dr. Fraser says some producers are doing an exceptional job of achieving good animal welfare and it's those producers who need to be held up to other producers and the public as examples.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork