As more and more Canadians start questioning exactly where their food comes from and how it was raised, the value of farm animals has been highlighted as well.
Recent media coverage of large-scale on-farm animal cruelty has caused a great deal of public scrutiny over the standards of care for Canadian farm animals. While this has shed a negative light on the Canadian farming industry, it has provided an opportunity for farmers meeting high standards of animal welfare to showcase their practices through the SPCA Certified program, a third-party farm certification and food labelling program dedicated to improving farm animal welfare in Canada.
The program was developed and launched by the BC SPCA in 2002. Since launching, numerous farms have become SPCA Certified in B.C. and Alberta. In the fall of 2014, Harley Farms became the first Ontario farm certified in the program.
“We’re now in the process of rolling the program out nationally so farms in any Canadian province can certify, and we’re going to continue to expand until farms in every province can boast our little red barn SPCA Certified logo,” says SPCA Certified program manager Brandy Street.
On June 5, the BC SPCA’s chief executive officer, Craig Daniell, and Street will be hosting an event at Harley Farms in Keene, Ont., to welcome them to the program and celebrate the launch of SPCA Certified in the province of Ontario.
“It’s a chance for people to come out and learn about the program and see how it’s being done on a real working farm,” says Street.
The event is currently open to media, food retail and food service representatives, and farmers and processors of meat, egg or dairy products. If you plan to be in the Peterborough area of Ontario in June, please contact Street before May 29 to have your email address added to the invitation list.
People interested in learning more about the SPCA Certified program are invited to visit the website at spcacertified.ca.
The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a not-for-profit organization reliant on public donations. Our mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for domestic, farm and wild animals in B.C.