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Saskatchewan SCPA Applauds Animal Care Assessment Tool

by 5m Editor
20 February 2007, at 11:46am

CANADA - The Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is applauding Canadian pork industry efforts to provide auditable standards for animal care, writes Bruce Cochrane.

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Last month two of North America's largest pork processors announced plans to replace gestation stalls with group housing systems over the next 10 years.

The Saskatchewan SPCA is the organization mandated to enforce the animal protection act in rural Saskatchewan.

SPCA Investigative services coordinator Ian MacMillan says, while he's aware the general public has issues with gestation stalls, he would hope any changes would be based on science.

Ian MacMillan-Saskatchewan SPCA

Any changes that can be made that would improve the welfare of animals and the hogs in general we would be whole heartedly in favor of.

The industry in my mind is being proactive.

They understand that some of the things that they have done in the past have raised some concerns and they've been trying to address it and we support those initiatives to change what ever can be changed.

I feel that the animal care assessment tool that has been put into place by the Canadian pork industry is a real step forward.

It's not only on a good program but it's one that's a verifiable program.

It goes along with an auditing process so that the training and the record keeping are done so that we know that the people are at least familiar with the proper way to do things.

Adequate care is going to be given to the animals and when you have a program that's proactive like that it goes a long way toward preventing the kind of things that we would hear about.

MacMillan notes, from an enforcement point of view, the SPCA is obligated to recognize generally accepted agricultural practices and gestation stalls are accepted as an industry standard.

He says the SPCA wouldn't take issue with using gestation stalls provided the animals were in adequate condition and receiving adequate care.

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