An update to the 2001 transportation Code has been underway since December 2018. This multi-species Code of
Practice, covering animals from 14 national on-farm Codes, has been a massive undertaking. Additionally:
- It has had to take into consideration robust federal regulations governing the transportation of animals in
Canada (Health of Animals Regulations (HAR) Part XII: Transport of Animals), the long-awaited update of which
was published in February 2019 along with an “evergreen” Interpretive Guidance for Regulated Parties.
- The COVID 19 pandemic hit in 2020 halting all in-person meetings and requiring the nine Working Groups and
the Code Development Committee to meet exclusively online. This was a huge learning curve for many and
impeded the relationship-building opportunities and open dialogue that in-person meetings offer.
- It is the first Code using NFACC’s Code development process that is not intended for on-farm use, and included
the care of animals during transportation as well as when offloaded at specific types of intermediary sites.
- It was initiated by NFACC versus a national stakeholder group representing transporters and other primary
stakeholders, which has led to additional challenges in following the Code development process.
At the outset it was recognized that this complex Code required all the time afforded under the Canadian Agricultural
Partnership’s (CAP) AgriAssurance Program time allowance. Unfortunately, over the last several months it has become
apparent that a finalized transportation Code is not achievable by the CAP program end date of March 31, 2023. Initially,
attention was focused on finding alternative means for completing this Code. However, in recent months further
challenges surrounding the lack of national lead organizations have led to concerns with proceeding to update the
transportation Code. It has become prudent to take stock of the issues being raised and consider alternative approaches
for addressing humane transportation of livestock and poultry.
After deliberations with varied perspectives being brought forward, the NFACC board agreed, and secured support from
our project funders, to pursue a Risk Assessment (RA) coupled with a Collaboration Planning Exercise (CPE). It was
further agreed that RA & CPE are the soundest approach to:
- Make best use of the time remaining under the current project to identify a path forward,
- Ensure that we make best use of the time and funding already invested,
- Ensure that we make best use of content developed to date through the project,
- Unite the diverse interests around humane transportation into an achievable and cohesive plan,
- Ensure that any decisions are consistent with NFACC’s mission and processes (and risk tolerances),
- Ensure that we identify a viable path forward for the future.
Additionally, transporters and intermediary site operators are key stakeholders who need to be more formally
involved/engaged in a way that facilitates sector-wide inclusively. Hence, the remainder of the project will focus on
conducting a RA and CPE with the goal of determining viable options that can be operationalized with the broad support
Thank you to the many people who have participated in working groups and committees. There is a wealth of
information in the work already produced under this project activity and a strong desire has been expressed to make
best use of the content that has been developed to date. Both the RA and CPE are expected to provide possible
approaches for further consideration (e.g., incorporating transportation within commodity-specific Codes of Practice).
It should also be noted that while updating the transportation Code by March 2023 is not possible, much has already
been accomplished through this project. Aside from progress on various drafts of the transportation Code:
- The transportation sections of 11 on-farm Codes were aligned with the new Health of Animals Regulations, an
effort that required a significant investment of resources from 2019 until early 2022. The transportation Code
team undertook this massive effort and worked with national livestock and poultry groups and CFIA.
- A substantial update to the Environmental Scan of Regulatory and Operational Considerations report was
undertaken in 2019, which included incorporating significant updates from both the Health of Animals
Regulations and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.
- A survey at the outset of the project captured top-of-mind concerns related to humane transportation with a
Previous progress reports are available here.
For information on the steps of the Code development process and progress of the Codes being updated follow this link.
Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriAssurance Program, a federal, provincial, territorial initiative.