Small Flockers has attempted to set a standard for animal welfare by our Small Flock Principles
Fortunately, there are others that support the concept of animal welfare.
In Canada and around the world, we have:
- Sections 445.1, 446, 447.1 of Canada's Criminal Code
- Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (each Province is similar, but unique)
- Voluntary Best Practices, specific for each species (eg. cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, etc.), see Farm & Food Care Ontario (each Province is similar, but unique)
- National Farm Animal Care Council
- Canadian Agri-Food Research Council and their Code of Practice for Pullets, Layers, & Spent Hens
- CARC's Code of Practice for Broilers & Roasters
- Voluntary standards of Global Animal Partnership for their 5 Step Program
- IFC (World Bank) Animal Welfare Good Practices note
- EU Council Directive 98/58/EC
- Farm Animal Welfare Council Freedom 5
- ISO 26000 International Standard for Social Responsibility
- SFPFC's Principles
- many more
[Update 2013/11/2]: I now understand that a secret agreement has been reached by CFC, and all provincial chicken authorities, signed by them as of July 24, 2012. See Better Farming's description here It appears that as of Aug. 2012 only 65% of all #ChickenMafia members in Canada were certified to the Animal Care Program ("ACP") standard (100% of #ChickenMafia members in Alberta and PEI are certified). CFC alleges that ACP has been made mandatory by 6 provincial boards (BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, PE). We'll soon see about that, stay tuned. [End Update 2013/11/2]
Perhaps that explains why Maple Lodge Farms was fined $264,000 after truckload after truckload of spent hens were shipped in the middle of winter without adequate protection for the birds, resulting in hundreds of birds freezing to death during transport.
Whole Foods Markets, the world's largest organic foods grocery store has mandated GAP's 5 Step Program for all poultry they sell.
When will the Big Food Mafias get their act together on animal welfare?
It isn't enough to post pretty pictures of cute animals on their websites, nor to make bald assertions that "animal welfare is our #1 priority".
If they don't have independent, third party, objective evidence to back up their claims, then it is an attempt by the Big Food Mafias to mislead, deceive, or outright lie to the public.
In that case, somebody should file a formal complaint against them with the government for illegal trade practices.