Animal Care Helpline Service
The Helpline is a confidential “farmer helping farmer” approach of advice and referral on animal care. The Helpline service is provided by the Farm & Food Care to assist people in providing good care for their farm animals.
It provides a confidential way for people to report situations of farm animals that they feel require better care or for farmers themselves to call if they need some help.
How does the Helpline Work?
The Helpline accepts calls about most types of farm animals: beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs, rabbits, chickens and turkeys.
Helpline calls are accepted at the Farm & Food Care office at (519) 837-1326, during regular office hours, typically Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Callers are asked to provide specific and detailed information necessary to pursue the case. The information about the case, but not the name of the caller, is then passed on to the appropriate commodity group(s) for follow-up and/or visit. For example, a Helpline call about a dairy cow would be passed along to the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, calls about pigs are passed along to Ontario Pork.
Helpline representatives are farmers or experienced staff people who can assess the situation and offer practical advice or necessary assistance to correct the situation if there is a problem. The Helpline representative then reports back to Farm & Food Care who, in turn, will relay this information back to the caller if they are interested.
Callers to the Helpline are asked to identify themselves for purposes of follow-up, but such information is kept strictly confidential with Farm & Food Care.
Who can use the Helpline?
Anyone who is having difficulties meeting acceptable levels of care and management for their farm animals and anyone else who witnesses situations where animals are not being properly cared for.
What doesn't the Helpline cover?
What's the difference between the Helpline and the Humane Society?
Here's a good way to explain the difference between the Farm & Food Care Helpline and the OSPCA service: the Farm Food Care Helpline deals with thin animals, not starving animals.
The idea is to try and reach those cases and animals before the situation worsens. The Helpline is a volunteer service; humane societies have legal authority. Sometimes Helpline representatives find the case needs to be turned over to the humane society, and in reverse, sometimes humane society representatives call the Helpline.
Why is the Helpline service needed?
The Helpline was started by the Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC) in 1992 as a way to help improve farm animal care. The Helpline service came about because people within the farm community felt such a service was needed to allow farmers to get involved.
The Helpline is one more way for the farming community to work together to help fellow farmers and farm animals. It's also yet another good example for the public that demonstrates that if there's a problem with animal care, farmers want to be part of the solution. It's good for agriculture, it's good for the farmer, and most importantly, it's good for the animals.
Animal Care Menu
Animal Care Menu