Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Animal Care Assessment Framework

Implementing Codes of Practice: Canada’s Framework for Developing Animal Care Assessment Programs

The Codes of Practice are vital, but alone are not enough – a mechanism is needed to demonstrate that Codes are being followed in order to build confidence throughout the value chain.

The Animal Care Assessment Framework provides a credible process to follow when developing an animal care assessment program.

Key goals

  •   Enhance the transparency, legitimacy and credibility of assessment programs developed according to the framework
  •   Ensure consistency of communications along the value chain
  •   Further develop Canada’s own cooperative approach to farm animal care, an approach that can be communicated nationally and internationally, and that builds upon existing initiatives
  •   Assist commodity groups in developing or revising an animal care program by providing an informed framework and useful resources

The framework should also ensure that animal care assessment programs provide benefits to both farmers and the animals under their care.

“The value in this approach to retailers and foodservice companies is that it
a credible, multi-stakeholder process that confers credibility on
commodity groups using it.”

– David Smith, former VP of Sustainability, Sobeys Inc.


Project Timeline



NFACC initiates discussions on the value of an Animal Care Assessment Model (ACAM)



NFACC partners agree to proceed with the development of an ACAM



Initial draft ACAM developed



Steering committee organized to finalize ACAM
First ACAM stakeholders workshop
Dairy Farmers of Canada test pilot the draft ACAM with the development of their animal care assessment program



Draft dairy animal care assessment program developed 



On-farm pilot of dairy animal care assessment program



ACAM renamed to Animal Care Assessment Framework
Second stakeholders workshop



Animal Care Assessment Framework is finalized

Steering Committee

The committee provides guidance and support in revising and finalizing the framework. Committee members:

  •   Thérèse Beaulieu, Dairy Farmers of Canada
  •   Sherry Casey, Loblaw Companies Limited
  •   Jorge Correa, Canadian Meat Council
  •   Anne Marie de Passillé, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  •   Jennifer Gardner, Chicken Farmers of Canada
  •   Pierre Lampron, Dairy Farmers of Canada (as of October 2012)
  •   Penny Lawlis, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  •   Ryder Lee, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
  •   David Murray, Dairy Farmers of Canada (as of October 2012)
  •   Ed Pajor, University of Calgary
  •   Catherine Scovil, Canadian Pork Council
  •   Geoff Urton, BC SPCA / Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
  •   Tina Widowski, University of Guelph
  •   Jennifer Woods, J. Woods Livestock Services

Past members

  •   David Smith, Sobeys Inc. (2011-2013)
  •   Pauline Duivenvoorden, Dairy Farmers of Canada (2011-2012)
  •   Bruno Letendre, Dairy Farmers of Canada (2011-2012)

The Animal Care Assessment Framework is being supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

March 8, 2019 NFACC Codes incorporated into Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act  

Last week, BC’s NDP government announced that the NFACC Codes of Practice would updated and put into legislation, effective June 1st.  Rather than prescribing a positive duty of care, the Codes will be used to describe generally accepted practices of animal management. The requirements as set out in the Codes will provide additional clarity around what is considered to be a generally accepted practice as referenced in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

However, this language falls well short of holding industry accountable. We need to raise the bar to protect all animals equally under both provincial and federal laws.

In 2017, after the Chilliwack Cattle Sales hidden video of dairy cows was revealed, the BC SPCA worked with the provincial government to have the Code of Practice for Dairy Cattle adopted into a new regulation so that the “generally accepted practices” outlined in the code became clearly entrenched in the law,” says Marcie Moriarty, Chief Prevention & Enforcement Officer.

“We had hoped to see the same support by the chicken industry.” It was declined. Clearly, this industry cares little or nothing about the lives of chickens, and would prefer to keep the gruesome reality of its business behind closed doors.

June 1, 2019 Codes of practice to protect B.C. farm animals now in effect

Quick Fact: The new codes cover beef, bison, hatching eggs, poultry breeders, chickens and turkeys, equines, farmed fox, farmed mink, pigs, pullets and laying hens, rabbits, sheep and veal cattle. Let’s work to raise the bar to protect all animals equally under both provincial and federal laws.

For more information: https://www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice


In 2005, NFACC replaced the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council in coordinating the development of guidelines for the care and handling of farmed animals, known as “codes of practice.” Agriculture & Agri-Foods Canada (AAFC) committed $314,827 to the new agency, an agency that is industry-controlled.

It should be noted that the veal calves fact sheet says that whether the animals are humanely raised is entirely dependent on the skills, training, & integrity of the producer.

Undercover video by MFA reveals severe abuse of dairy cows at Chilliwack Cattle Sales; inherent wrongs exposed throughout industry; flagrant abuse at Quebec veal farm; mad cow disease AB; countries ban Cdn beef due to BSE

June 12, 2017 Undercover video shows ‘sadistic’ animal abuse on B.C. farms: animal rights group

June 13, 2017 comment: The graphic undercover video shot by Mercy for Animals depicts multiple workers throwing, hitting, dismembering and killing chickens, and forcing the birds into violent sexual acts with each other. The law must seek proper justice (although no punishment will be fitting) for the tortured and voiceless victims of this most vile crime!!  

We can all take action to help prevent such abuses within the industry, and as consumers, our power is tremendous if we simply keep animal products off our plates. If there’s no demand, there’s no supply. The video: Chicken Torture

National Farm Animal Care Report 2013 - Workshop on Canada's Animal Care Assessment Framework & Future Strategies

CFHS: Codes of practice and the National Farm Animal Care Council

2021: Provincial and territorial legislation concerning farm animal welfare

Read more on our Factory Farming and Animal Law pages