This month, the Canadian agriculture industry released a draft of its revised code of practice for chickens and turkeys. The public is invited to comment on this draft for consideration before the final is published next year.
This code of practice matters. Chickens are by far the largest population of animals under human care—we killed more than 640 million of them in 2014—and their degree of suffering is arguably the worst of any factory farmed animal.
Yet, the government does not regulate on-farm conditions in Canada, choosing instead to fund and endorse the codes of practice. These codes of practice are the closest to on-farm regulations that we have.
The draft code of practice is badly deficient. It leaves out or scarcely addresses the most important animal welfare concerns. The interests, profits, and convenience of producers have evidently been the paramount concern.
Most alarmingly, the draft code totally fails to address genetic selection…