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New Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Bison


For immediate release

New Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Bison

(Regina) 09 August 2017 – The Canadian Bison Association and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) are pleased to announce the release of the revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Bison.

Canada’s Codes of Practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. They serve as the foundation for ensuring that farm animals are cared for using sound management and welfare practices that promote animal health and well-being. Codes are used as educational tools, reference materials for regulations, and the foundation for industry animal care assessment programs.

“Canada’s bison producers are committed to and strive for continual improvements when it comes to the care and well-being of their bison,” said Mark Silzer, bison producer and Chairman of the bison Code Development Committee. “The updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Bison will be a useful tool for both current and new producers. It will also give the public a better understanding of all that’s involved in raising bison” he added.

NFACC’s Code development process is a uniquely consensus-based, multi-stakeholder approach that ensures credibility and transparency through scientific rigour, stakeholder collaboration, and consistency. Updates to the bison Code were led by an 11-person Code committee comprised of bison producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, veterinarians and government representatives. Aiding in their work was a three-person Scientific Committee that included research and veterinary expertise in bison behaviour, health and welfare. A public comment period was held in the winter of 2016 to allow the public and all stakeholders to provide input.

“The new Code provides progressive new standards for bison welfare in Canada,” said Kaley Pugh, who represents the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies on the Code Committee. “The recommendations in the Code are science-informed and will evolve the welfare practices of the bison farming industry to better meet the needs of the animals.”

Canada’s Codes of Practice are a powerful tool for meeting rising consumer, marketplace and societal expectations relative to farm animal welfare. Codes support responsible animal care practices and keep everyone involved in farm animal care and handling on the same page.

The bison Code is the tenth Code of Practice updated through NFACC’s Code development process. For more information on the Codes of Practice and NFACC’s Code development process visit www.nfacc.ca.

The new bison Code is available online at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/bison.

Funding for this project has been provided through the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward 2, a federal–provincial–territorial initiative.

About the National Farm Animal Care Council

NFACC is a collaborative partnership of diverse stakeholders created in 2005 to share information and work together on farm animal care and welfare. It is the national lead for farm animal care issues in Canada. NFACC would like to acknowledge the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC) for their role in securing funding for this project. For more information on NFACC visit www.nfacc.ca.

About the Canadian Bison Association

The Canadian Bison Association is a national organization with 500 members that represents the interests of the bison industry on issues including international trade, animal health, nutrition, marketing, bison grading, bison conservation, animal welfare and other issues that have an impact on the industry. For more information on CBA visit www.canadianbison.ca.

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