What is the Animal Care Assessment?
The Animal Care Assessment (ACA™) program is a way for you to ‘say what you do, do what you say and prove it.’
When it comes to livestock husbandry, Canada’s pork producers are among the best. Herd health and performance records prove it. The ACA provides a step-by-step guide for producers to create a snapshot welfare assessment for their farm that can then be used to monitor, manage and document animal husbandry practices. It provides you with a means to promote and demonstrate responsible pork production. And it can be third-party verified – a tremendous asset when it comes to marketing Canadian pork.
While the Canadian Quality Assurance program or CQA® addresses food safety protocols, the ACA™ focuses on animal care practices. The program, developed by a team of experts comprising producers, producer organization representatives, animal care researchers and government officials, is administered by the Canadian Pork Council and delivered by provincial CQA delivery agents.
Entry into the program is simple with the recently-approved Self-Declaration Report »
Participants in the Animal Care Assessment are required to participate in and be CQA certified. Eventually, the ACA will become an integral part of CQA.
Why add more paperwork?
Participation in the ACA is relatively simple to accomplish and maintain. The record keeping requirements are very manageable. The program has been set up as a workbook to be completed and most producers report it is not onerous.
What’s in it for me?
Implementing an Animal Care Assessment will help you manage animal care on your farm and demonstrate your successes.
Processors, food retailers, restaurants and other food service stakeholders are being asked by their customers to provide assurances of both food safety and animal welfare practices. CQA provides verifiable proof on the food safety front and the ACA will address animal welfare. Consumers are becoming more demanding and that trend is likely to continue.
As with CQA, ACA is likely to become a requirement for shipping to processors.
From an export perspective, Canada is seen as a leader in many area of livestock production. The more ‘locked in’ guarantees Canada can provide its export customers, the better.
The ACA will become a new point of differentiation for your farm’s pork and for Canadian pork – and that’s important to both domestic and international customers.
As a livestock producer, you already know with well-treated animals, your shipments receive less dockage and condemnations from bruising or other physical damage to the meat.
Will I have to undergo any third party verification?
Initial registration with the program can be accomplished with the simple Self Declaration Report. Once every three years, at the time you complete your mandatory CQA® validation, third party verification by a program validator is required.
Who will have access to my information?
Provincial delivery agents and provincial pork producer associations will have access to your ACA information. Cumulative information will be sent to the Canadian Pork Council.