Exploring the Role of Alberta Farm Animal Care, or AFAC

Curt Pate, providing stockmanship lessons to the 2015 Livestock Care Conference attendees.
Curt Pate, providing stockmanship lessons to the 2015 Livestock Care Conference attendees.

The agriculture industry is pretty bogged down with acronyms, let’s face it. That’s why, every once in a while, we like to do an interview that focuses on what, exactly, these acronyms mean.

This week, we’re talking AFAC, or Alberta Farm Animal Care.

“We are a multi-species livestock welfare organization,” explains Kristen McDonald, marketing and membership manager for AFAC, in the included interview. “We were created in 1993 by the livestock industry in order to be there for the livestock industry.”

Continues below audio

Kristen McDonald speaks to RealAgriculture’s Debra Murphy about AFAC’s role, how it differs from other organizations, who should consider becoming a member and what to look forward to at the 2016 Livestock Care Conference.

A member of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), AFAC aids in distributing resources like the Codes of Practice. AFAC is also responsible for organizing events that promote good animal welfare practices, providing advice and even overseeing animal welfare concerns.

“We deal with a lot of the proactive measures,” says McDonald, “we really try to get to situations before they become an issue, and really provide that education that maybe the producer needs.”

When boots are needed on the ground, AFAC will send out a trained producer, and, occasionally, an “alert line veterinarian.” The goal is always to be proactive. And in cases where being proactive is no longer an option, AFAC works closely with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Related: Alberta Young Farmers and Ranchers Set to Lead (and Rock) the Farm
YCC Provides Opportunity for Youth to Weigh in on Policy Changes

aThe alert line is a confidential resource that allows anyone to report livestock care concerns or ask for advice or clarification. The team behind the line includes farmers and rural community members.

AFAC’s 2016 Livestock Care Conference will run March 22-23 in Olds, AB.


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