Livestock producers urged to have more conversations about animal care

The National Farm Animal Care Council is urging livestock producers across the country to tell their story to consumers.

The council says consumers are hungrier than ever to know the back story to where the food they are eating has comes from.

General Manager Jackie Wepruk says producers have to tell their story, so the consumer can make an educated decision.

“We have to recognize that farmers are going to be directly impacted by any decisions that are made relevant to farm animal care standards.  So they absolutely need to be involved in the conversations that are happening in this regard.”

“However, we also have to recognize that there are many other stakeholders that are driving these changes whether their consumers, retail food service companies or the activist groups, that are putting pressure on government and retail food service companies to impose change,” says Wepruk.

Wepruk says all of these stakeholders need to have constructive conversations with farmers as to what kind of changes need to be made, if any, moving forward.

She says livestock producers need to have open, positive and honest conversations about how they take care of their animals, because many consumers are more disconnected than ever to agriculture and have strong emotions about their food.

“I think that starts by having a positive conversation, we know that there are a lot of strong emotions when it comes to animal care and that creates an environment that is really ripe for conflict.” ” The National Farm Animal Care Council tries to create a forum by which collectively different groups can have meaningful conversations and commitment to action across different interest groups.”

Wepruk says they really rely on our members to also be part of that solution to go back to their constituents and make sure they’re aware of the things that are taking place around code development and animal care assessment that are ensuring to make there is continued improvement in farm animal care.

One delegate at the N-F-A-C-Cs conference in Ottawa says these conversations should be no different than when you sit down and talk over a cup of coffee.