Share your thoughts on beef cattle welfare in just three minutes - BC SPCA
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Share your thoughts on beef cattle welfare in just three minutes

April 22, 2024

New rules are being developed for cattle raised for beef in Canada – what key issues for beef cattle should be the focus?

Every year, over 10 million cattle are raised for beef production in Canada. For the first time since 2013, the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle (the Code) is being updated. The Code sets out the minimum guidelines farmers are expected to follow when raising cattle, and now you can have a say!

You can submit your top three concerns about beef cattle welfare to the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) in their survey before May 3.

Update: this survey has now closed. 

A group of cattle looks up towards the camera from inside a crowded indoor feedlot. The animals are confined here until sent to slaughter. Saint-Isidore, Quebec, Canada, 2022. Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals Media
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals Media

Tips for filling out NFACC’s survey:

  • Use your own words – share your unique perspective
  • Be concise – there is not a lot of room to fill in your answers
  • Be polite – submissions that include derogatory or threatening language are removed
  • Address on-farm welfare issues – this Code ends once cattle leave the farm, so does not cover issues such as length of time in transport

Here are some key welfare issues for beef cattle in Canada:

  • Painful procedures like castration, disbudding, and branding
  • Inadequate shelter from harsh weather, lack of dry standing and resting/bedded areas
  • Indoor housing, space allowance, resting areas, ventilation
  • Lack of forage (grass and hay) in diets and grain-based diets
  • Lameness

Learn more

Next steps

After the survey closes, the Code Development Committee, made up of farmers, veterinarians, animal welfare organizations, researchers, transporters, government representatives, and others will review the submissions and create a list of priority issues.

The most recent research on these topics will be compiled by a group of researchers to help the Code Development Committee create a science-informed code. In approximately two years, a draft Code will be released for public review and comment. The BC SPCA will share when this is ready.

 

Beet cattle stand in dry pasture

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