Deadline nears for veal code input

Public comments are being accepted until Feb. 14 on the draft code of practice for the care and handling of veal cattle.

The code is one of many co-ordinated by the National Farm Animal Care Council using a process that involves multiple stakeholders and interest groups that want input into animal handling practices.

As with other codes, the draft veal code includes findings from a scientific committee that identified priority welfare issues.

Those priorities include housing and facilities for veal calves, which include recommendations on group size, space allowance, age at introduction and disease.

Also on the welfare priority list is fibre in the veal calf diet, risk factors for abomasal (fourth stomach) damage and milk feeding practices such as frequency, daily requirement and satisfying the desire of calves to suck.

The code of practice for veal calves was last updated in 1998. The new code is expected to be finalized by this fall.

The code development committee is chaired by Robert Wynands, a veal producer and president of the Canadian Veal Association.

In an NFACC news release, Wynands and Jeffrey Rushen, who represents the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies on the committee, both encouraged public input to ensure the final code is reasonable for producers and also reflects the values of Canadians.

The draft code can be found at www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/veal-cattle.

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