Did you know that Canada is home to over 230,000 goats? Goats in Canada can be raised as pets on hobby farms, but the majority are raised commercially for dairy, meat, and fibre (mohair/wool). It is important that everyone who cares for goats understands how to meet the unique needs of these charismatic animals.
The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Goats is being updated for the first time in 16 years. This code serves as law in some provinces, and sets the standard for minimum acceptable care of goats across Canada.
We asked you to speak up for goats, and you made a huge difference! Almost 500 people submitted their top welfare concerns for goats and we submitted these science-based recommendations (PDF).
Because of your contributions, issues such as lameness, painful procedures, space allowance, ability to exhibit natural behaviours, enrichment opportunities, and ensuring goats experience positive states all made it on the list.
These important topics will be researched so the goat code committee can create requirements for how farmers care for their goats.
The BC SPCA will continue to be involved in developing this code. A BC SPCA staff member will represent Humane Canada, Canada’s federation of SPCAs and humane societies, speaking for goat welfare during code development.
We will need your help again when the full update to the code is released for public comment. Sign up for action alerts so you are the first to hear about your next opportunity to improve the lives of goats on Canadian farms.