(file photo)


The committee tasked with creating the new pig care code of practice has had to invest in additional resources to process the large number of responses it received during the public comment period.

More than 4,700 submissions were made to the committee in response to the draft code, which included a controversial move away from the use of gestation stalls, as well as changes to standards for pain control and space allowances.

"That certainly is substantially considering that previously both the equine and beef codes received over 600 submissions, which we were very pleased with as well," says Jackie Wepruk, general manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council, which is leading the effort to update the code. "I think the response we've seen on the draft pig code reflects the tremendous attention that has been focused on this code."

She says the committee is currently analyzing the responses. "We've certainly had to put additional resources toward sorting through all the submissions," notes Wepruk.

The pig code committee consists of a wide range of stakeholders, with representation from producers, researchers, processors and animal welfare groups.

"They have the rather unenviable task of sorting through all these submissions, considering the rationale for the positions that have been put forward, and finally working toward a consensus on a final code," she explains.

She says they're still aiming to have the new code ready to go by the end of 2013. "This is all being done through project funding, which ends at the end of December, so we working very hard to try to finish this code within the funding availability that we have."