ACA™ for Canadian Hog Producers

Canadian hog farmers are dedicated to the highest quality standards. Through the national CQA® program, registered producers demonstrate their compliance with national standards for food safety and animal care.

The CQA® manual outlines the food safety elements of the program. Launched in 1998 and continually updated, the manual presents requirements and good production practices based on the internationally recognized Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) model.

The Animal Care Assessment (ACA™) manual presents animal care requirements. These are based on Canada’s Code of practice for the care and handling of pigs and became a requirement for CQA® registration in 2012.

To be a registered CQA® producer, program requirements are assessed each year for compliance by a program validator.

What is the Animal Care Assessment program?

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 complete a welfare assessment for their farm that can then be used to monitor, manage and document animal husbandry practices. It provides producers with a means to promote and demonstrate responsible pork production. And it is validated by an outside party – a tremendous asset when it comes to marketing Canadian pork.

While the Canadian Quality Assurance manual CQA® addresses food safety protocols, the ACA™ guide focuses on animal care practices. The program components were developed by experts and the program is administered by the Canadian Pork Council and delivered by provincial CQA® delivery agents.

To be registered with CQA®, requirements from the CQA® manual and the Animal Care Assessment must be met.

What's in it for you?

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.

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.

What’s covered?

All aspects of day-to-day farm life that impact the health and welfare of the pig are included in the Animal Care Assessment, including:

Care of animals

  • Identification and care of sick or injured pigs
  • Space allowances
  • Mortality levels
  • Body scores – breeding stock
  • Humane euthanasia protocols


  • Employee training

Housing and Environment

  • Temperature and Ventilation
  • Barn maintenance
  • In case of power failures
  • Flooring
  • Feeders
  • Waterers

Who can participate?

All producers who are CQA® registered can participate in ACA™.