Horse Health and Welfare

Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals

The Codes of Practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. The Codes serve as our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices.

NFACC and the Codes

Canada’s Code development process is led by NFACC. Key components of the process are:

  • the inclusion of scientific committees to review research on priority welfare issues; 
  • ownership of the individual Codes by the relevant stakeholders through their active participation in developing the Code;  
  • measurable components to facilitate the development of assessment programs; and 
  • a transparent process.

Science- and consensus-based commitment

The Code Development Committee and the Scientific Committee work together to develop a science- and consensus-based Code. The result is a Code that is scientifically informed, practical, and reflects societal expectations for responsible farm animal care.

NFACC’s Code development process ensures credibility through
scientific rigour, stakeholder collaboration and a consistent approach.

Collaborative approach to Code development

Broad representation and expertise on each Code Development Committee ensures collaborative Code development. The Code development process fosters relationships and understanding amongst all partners involved in farmed animal care.

Stakeholder commitment is key to ensure quality animal care standards are established and implemented. Stakeholders include farmers/producers, transporters, veterinarians, animal welfare and enforcement agencies, retail and food service organizations, processors, governments and researchers.

NFACC Code Development Process

The development of new Codes and Code revisions follow specific steps that are designed to make the process transparent, collaborative, science and consensus-based, and participative. Click here to view the steps and the Code development timeline.

Credible guidelines on animal welfare

Codes of Practice are intended to promote sound management and welfare practices through recommendations and requirements for housing, care, transportation, processing and other animal husbandry practices. Codes serve as educational tools, reference materials for regulations, and the foundation for animal care assessment programs.

Recommended practices strive for continuous improvement and encourage a higher level of care. Requirements refer to either a regulatory requirement, or an industry-imposed expectation for responsible farm animal care and welfare.

Stakeholder participation is critical for animal welfare
to be addressed in a sustainable manner.


Equine

 


Health and Welfare Committee 

The health and welfare of horses in Canada is of the highest priority for Equine Canada, its members, the Canadian equine industry and the Canadian equestrian community. The EC Board of Directors mandated the establishment of an Equine Canada Health and Welfare Committee as a committee of the Board to serve as a resource to the EC Board, and to provide expertise, feedback and guidance on the development of policy positions related to issues of equine health and welfare.

 It is essential for Equine Canada that the Health and Welfare Committee has a solid structure that will address this core responsibility efficiently, effectively, seamlessly and with longevity. It is the opinion of the Committee members that this can best be achieved if the Health and Welfare Committee works with the EC Board of Directors to identify and eliminate gaps in our information and to improve communications within the organization related to issues of equine health and welfare.  

The purpose of the Equine Health and Welfare Committee is to assist Equine Canada in its endeavours to protect the health and welfare of every horse in Canada. Terms of Reference have been established, to define the mandate, composition, terms of service and general responsibilities for Committee members. The Terms of Reference have been adopted and included in the current Governance Policy Manual for Equine Canada.