Representatives of the British Columbia Pork Producers Association are responding to concerns regarding animal care brought to the organization’s attention by CTV Vancouver on April 22. CTV approached the BCPPA with a video that was provided to the news agency by an animal rights organization. Animal rights activists allege the video was taken at an Abbotsford area hog farm.
“The video was taken by a trespasser at night, it has been edited and lacks context and understanding, but some of the scenes are of concern,” says Chad Goertzen, director of the BC Pork Producers Association. “As soon as we saw the video, BC Pork arranged for a swine veterinarian to visit the farm to ensure national standards were continuing to be met.”
Canadian Pork Excellence, is the on-farm, food safety and animal welfare program that covers 96% of Canadian hog production. Hog farms in BC adhere to this national standard and also benefit from regularly scheduled herd health visits by specialized veterinarians. The animal care component of Canadian Pork Excellence follows the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs developed by the National Farm Animal Care Council. The code of practice will become law in British Columbia on June 1. Canadian farmers also follow strict biosecurity protocols to prevent the introduction of disease onto their farms and thus protect the welfare of their animals.
“BC’s pork sector represents a small group of family farms that care deeply about animal care and welfare,” says Jack Dewit, BCPPA president. “We ask our neighbors who have concerns to raise them immediately with us, rather than putting our farms and pig health at risk by entering our facilities directly and without our knowledge or permission.”