Social Sustainability

The success of the Canadian cattle industry relies on healthy, well-cared for cattle. Canada's producers work hard to care for their animals every day. Where there are issues, farmers and ranchers work with the CCA Animal Health and Care Committee towards improvements through research, communication and education.

Canadian animal care regulations and standards, including the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle, can stand up to, and perhaps even exceed, any world-wide certifications or standards. Regulations and standards differ from certifications, which are simply a record of the production practices the majority of Canadian cattle producers are already doing.

The beef cattle industry took a leading role in the development of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle in 1991 and its renewal in 2013. The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle provides recommendations for meeting the basic needs of beef cattle. The Code was developed to augment existing laws and regulations, reflecting industry’s commitment to the humane treatment and care of beef cattle.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is illegal to wilfully neglect, maim, wound or injure an animal. Provinces and territories also have laws regarding the care and treatment of farm animals.

Animal health is a big part of animal care. The Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard [English [PDF], French [PDF]] provides practical and effective on-farm biosecurity practices that, when properly applied and followed, can reduce the risk of impact of endemic diseases and reduce or prevent the risk of a Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) outbreak in the Canadian herd.

The Standard is a tool that provides broad risk management guidelines that are practical and science-based and specific to the beef cattle industry. Its focus is on practices and procedures that are of a low-cost to the producer to implement.