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Animal welfare is a main priority of livestock farmers

February 28, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Animal welfare is a main priority of livestock farmers

Local stockyard provides great economic benefit to regional livestock market.

Truro, NS – Cattle farmers in Nova Scotia are disheartened with the recent complaint launched against Atlantic Stockyard Ltd. located in Murray Siding, NS.

Codes of Practice are developed by stakeholders including farmers, veterinarians, animal welfare experts and transporters. The codes of practice identify industry best practices for livestock handing based on scientific information.

“It is a well-known fact that Canada has one of the safest food systems in the world; the system includes humane treatment of animals,” says Chris van den Heuvel, President of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture.

The success of the Agriculture Industry in Nova Scotia can be correlated with the success of the livestock sectors in Nova Scotia. Products from cattle make up 28% of the total farm gate receipts for Nova Scotia.

“Cattle farmers care about the livestock they raise,” says Larry Weatherby, Chair of Nova Scotia Cattle Producers. “Nova Scotia Cattle Producers work closely with industry to provide training opportunities for the humane handling of livestock based on our Code of Practice.”

Atlantic Stockyard Ltd. is the only regular livestock public auction yard in Atlantic Canada with sales every week. Without this facility, farms in Atlantic Canada would have to transport their livestock to Quebec, Ontario or parts of the USA for sale. This would lead to substantial financial costs and cause many livestock farmers in the region to shut down. The domino effect that this would have on the supply chain as a whole would certainly be felt by consumers and the local economy with the lost jobs.

“Since its introduction in 2009 the Code of Conduct for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle has been adhered to throughout Canada. Starting this fall, all farms will undergo an animal assessment and validation of on-farm Animal Care under a mandatory program called proAction,” says Gerrit Damsteegt, Chair of Dairy Farmers of Nova Scotia. “One of six sustainable pillars within proAction is Animal Care. Aside from the ethical reasons to treat animals well, a strong business case can be made that contented animals are more productive.”

The three organizations encourage consumers to take an opportunity to educate themselves on the food system. Go beyond online search engines and social media – ask a farmer.

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The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture represents the interests of over 2,400 farm families in Nova Scotia. Founded in 1895 to provide Nova Scotia’s farm community with a single voice, the NSFA is the province’s only general farm organization.

Nova Scotia Cattle Producers promotes and assists in the sustainable development of Nova Scotia’s beef production industry in the best interest of the members and all Nova Scotians.

Dairy Farmers of Nova Scotia provides regulatory and administrative services to Nova Scotia’s dairy producers. DFNS has approximately 220 members throughout Nova Scotia and who produce over 190 Million litres of high-quality milk each year.

For more information, contact:
Maxine MacLean
Communications Coordinator
Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture
T: (902) 893-2293
C: (902) 890-1891
mmaclean@nsfa-fane.ca