Producers, consumers, and members of industry have until January 27, 2022, to submit their comments on a draft version of the Dairy Code of Practice.
The comment period has been open since late November.
The Code of Practice is extensive, covering all aspects of dairy cattle care, from housing and bedding, to pain management for routine procedures, to standards for veterinary care.
For this most recent code, draft revisions include a focus on daily freedom of movement. “As of the publishing of this Code, newly built barns must allow daily freedom of movement, exercise, and social interactions year-round,” it reads, a requirement that would require significant design changes for anyone considering building a new tie-stall dairy.
The draft code contains provisions for current tie-stall systems, and lists “opportunities for all cattle to exercise daily, if weather permits,” as a best management practice.
Included in the discussion portion of the survey is encouragement of choosing free-stall and bedding pack barns over tie-stall systems.
“The number of tie-stall barns being built in Canada and internationally has been steadily declining for many years. Farmers building a new barn are encouraged to continue this trend, one that was initiated within the dairy industry and that aligns with research on consumer/public viewpoints, and the long-term social sustainability of the industry. Farmers building new barns are encouraged to select options that most effectively achieve the requirement below for daily freedom of movement and social interactions year-round. Bedded packs and free stalls are among the many examples of systems that effectively meet the needs of the cattle in our care.”
**Edit: From NFACC: “While the 60-day comment period ends on January 27, NFACC has given an extension (until February 15) for those in B.C. directly affected by the recent flood, in the flood region, and that could otherwise not participate. We respect that life is still far from normal for BC dairy farmers, and possibly some veterinarians, directly affected by this disaster. We hope this extension helps them to be able to provide input. ”
To read the draft, supporting reports and documentation, and to submit your comments, click here.