Speak up for sheep - take short survey
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Speak up for sheep

July 5, 2024

Do you have thoughts about how sheep should be raised in Canada? Now is your chance to take a short survey to share your concerns about sheep welfare and make a difference for sheep raised for meat, milk, and wool in Canada.

White sheep with black heads inside barn

The National Farm Animal Care Council has announced that the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Sheep, published in 2013, will be updated. The Code contains requirements and recommended practices for sheep care on farms.

An essential first step in the Code development process is the short initial survey to capture top welfare concerns from all interested individuals. The input received will help the Code Development Committee understand the kinds of issues people wish to see considered in the update. Everyone is invited to participate! The survey is open until July 25 — submit your thoughts now!

Take the short survey

To ensure your submission is reviewed, please follow these tips:

  • Use your own words – share your unique perspective; identical submissions may be ignored
  • Be concise – the survey does not provide much room to enter your submission
  • Be polite – submissions that include profanity or derogatory language will not be considered
  • Address on-farm welfare issues

Key welfare issues for sheep that we would like to see addressed include:

  • Provide pain control for painful procedures, like castration and tail docking, and eliminate these procedures in the future
  • Improve lamb care, including lambing and colostrum management and low-stress weaning
  • Ensure there is shade, shelter, and dry resting areas to accommodate all sheep at the same time when outdoors
  • Provide sufficient indoor space for sheep, explicit space allowances, and enrichment indoors
  • Prohibit blunt-force trauma euthanasia

 

Reminder – you can use this list as a starting point, but please use your own words

White sheep inside of a barn.

Next steps

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

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

Learn more