Egg farmers’ number one priority has always been the health and well-being of their laying hens. Egg farmers check their flocks daily and closely monitor feed and water consumption in the barn. All hens have access to nutritious feed, fresh water and fresh air.
Egg Farmers of Canada administers a national Animal Care Program, based on the recommended Code of Practice. This program was developed by industry stakeholders including Canada’s top veterinarians and scientists as well as representatives from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, egg farmers and egg processors. The goals of the Animal Care Program include:
- Ensuring that the Code of Practice is being followed by farmers
- Verifying that farmers are meeting requirements to care for their hens
- Ensuring consistent delivery of animal care across the country
- Striving for continuous improved performance around animal welfare.
The Program ensures that farmers meet these goals by:
- Inspecting and rating egg farms yearly against the Animal Care Program’s criteria, including environment, water and feed, and the health and quality of life of the hen
- Inspecting farms by a trained team of field inspectors who rate regulated egg farms across the country using criteria outlined in the Code of Practice
- Working with Egg Boards and farmers to continuously improve on-farm practices and ensuring animals have the best available care.
Egg Farmers of Canada continues to fund a wide variety of animal welfare research at leading post-secondary institutions across the country including the research of EFC’s Research Chair in Poultry Welfare, Dr. Tina Widowski. Dr. Widowski leads North America’s largest group of animal welfare scientists as the Director of the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, and collaborates with researchers on laying hen welfare and egg production, including research into housing space requirements. Canada’s egg farmers are engaged in this research and are continuously seeking to improve the care and well-being of our laying hens.