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Cattle Industry Gets New Industry Code Of Practice

Canada’s cattle producers will get a new beef industry code of practice to guide their on-farm operations.

The revised code, expected in 2013, will replace the existing one which dates back to 1991.

The process will bring together producers, humane societies, scientists, veterinarians, transporters, government representatives and food industry officials to develop voluntary guidelines for producing beef cattle.

Much has changed in the industry over the past 20 years and an updated code reflecting those changes is overdue, said Ryder Lee, federal and provincial relations manager for the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Practices such as grazing management, feedlot care and livestock handling have evolved greatly since 1991. So, too, have on-farm technology and the science of raising cattle, Lee said.

An updated code will give producers new, improved guidelines to help maximize their production, he said.

“It’s about being outcome based.”

Lee said producers already follow the existing beef code “to a grand extent” and CCA expects a high rate of compliance with the new one.

Industry codes of practice are voluntary national guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. The National Farm Animal Care Council steers the process of developing such codes.

CCA called for the updated beef code in March 2009. NFACC received project funding approval through AgriFlex, a Growing Forward program, earlier this year.

The beef code is one of the first to enter NFACC’s formal process for developing industry codes of practice. The organization previously issued a revised dairy code as a pilot project.

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