What is the Animal Care Assessment Program?

The Animal Care Assessment (ACA™) guide 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.

While the Canadian Quality Assurance (CQA®) manual addresses food safety protocols, the ACA™ guide focuses on animal care practices. The guide, developed by a team of experts comprising producers, producer organization representatives, animal care researchers and government officials, is part of the CQA® program, administered by the Canadian Pork Council and delivered by provincial CQA® delivery agents.

Why add more paperwork?

Participation in the ACA™ is relatively simple to accomplish and maintain. The record keeping requirements are very manageable. The guide 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. 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.

Will I have to undergo any assessment?

As a CQA® registered producer, you will undergo an assessment by a CQA® program validator to determine compliance with the CQA® program requirements, which include both the food safety elements outlined in the CQA® manual and the animal care elements outlined in the ACA™ guide. This assessment occurs each year.

Who will have access to my information?

Provincial delivery agents and provincial pork producer associations will have access to your information. Cumulative information will be sent to the Canadian Pork Council.