Farmers raise livestock because they like working with animals. Most know too that properly cared for animals are more productive which means a better income for them and their families. Nevertheless, there are controls in place to help ensure that farm animals are raised responsibly.
Agriculture and food production are subject to laws and regulations governing animal treatment. Ontario farmers are subject to laws outlined in the Criminal Code of Canada, as well as the provincial Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Act. Provisions included in these pieces of legislation protect animals from "unnecessary pain, injury, suffering or neglect". Offences are punishable by law.
Specific government and industry regulations are also in force to control the production, transportation, marketing and processing of livestock and poultry. These regulations take into consideration humane issues, and penalize those found to be in violation.
Recommended Codes of Practice are currently in place for poultry, hogs, veal, dairy cattle, beef cattle, deer, horses, sheep, animals raised on farms for their fur, and livestock transportation. These Codes (available in the Links section at the right) have been designed to guide farmers, handlers, transporters, and processors in their practices. The codes have been drafted through close consultation with producers, government researchers and industry.
Each segment of the agriculture and food sector also has in place various inspection, training, and education programs to deal specifically with animal care and handling issues. These programs have proven to be an effective method of addressing problems and concerns and have aided in the overall improvement of standards.
Click on any of the categories on the right of this page to download any items in our large library of animal care resources.