Artisan Farms Humane Handling Standards and Sustainability

Animal welfare
Ontario Angus cattle have centuries if breeding to ensure that they thrive in our Canadian climate.

Humane Handling & Animal Welfare

Our Artisan Farms Humane Handling Standards Program is paramount to our production protocols. In fact, it inherently is a profitable method for our family farms to realize higher returns from any and all inputs within the livestock production, and really supports our Artisan Farms Product Integrity.

Humane Handling and Animal Welfare within the network of family Artisan Farms has always been a proactive approach to Humane & Animal Welfare. All our personnel who work with animals must first undergo our strict Artisan Farms training and only those attaining the required level of competence are allowed to work with animals within our network of production. The Humane Handling Standards and Training is carried out on site and is tailored to be of the highest standards in North America and Globally. 

Our Family Farm Producers Production Manuel has a detailed and outlined Humane Handling Standards that are audited at each and every family farm within our network.  You can be assured our belief is that fairly and humanely treated livestock is the most successful for all parties within the Value Chain – especially to the End Consumer whose eating experience is elevated with the fact that Animal Welfare is paramount to our Artisan production protocols with all products sold from our network. 

We have developed our own set of Humane Handling Standards that exceeds the Canadian Government regulations, from the CFIA – Canadian Food Inspection Agency. We are aware of the many programs in the USA that have been used and we are consulting on Humane Handling initiatives here in Canada. Many of the US based programs have issues that drive certain practices we do utilize in our current methods due to smaller farms, whereby these US humane programs have been suited to larger production farms.  We are working behind the scenes.

Humane Handling at Artisan Farms – as all Artisan Farms family farms are all Verified Beef Producer certified by the provincial cattle producers association of Ontario, working with associations in the other provinces of Canada, overseen by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association this is the Verified program recognized by the Canadian government’s Food Inspection Agency – click here to go the site for Verified Beef Production. 

National Farm Animal Care Council – NFACC guidelines have been reissued in 2013, and all family farms must adhere to these Guidelines to retain their certification of VBP – Verified Beef Producer. The CFIA recognizes this as the very foundation of Humane Handling and Animal Welfare in Canada.  Click here for the NFACC site and guidelines.

Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals - The Codes of Practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. The Codes serve as our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices.

NFACC and the Codes - Canada’s Code development process is led by NFACC. Key components of the process are:

  • the inclusion of scientific committees to review research on priority welfare issues;

  • ownership of the individual Codes by the relevant stakeholders through their active participation in developing the Code; 

  • measurable components to facilitate the development of assessment programs; and

  • a transparent process.

Science- and consensus-based commitment - The Code Development Committee and the Scientific Committee work together to develop a science- and consensus-based Code. The result is a Code that is scientifically informed, practical, and reflects societal expectations for responsible farm animal care.

NFACC’s Code development process ensures credibility through scientific rigour, stakeholder collaboration and a consistent approach.

Collaborative approach to Code development - Broad representation and expertise on each Code Development Committee ensures collaborative Code development. The Code development process fosters relationships and understanding amongst all partners involved in farmed animal care.
Stakeholder commitment is key to ensure quality animal care standards are established and implemented. Stakeholders include farmers/producers, transporters, veterinarians, animal welfare and enforcement agencies, retail and food service organizations, processors, governments and researchers.

NFACC Code Development Process - The development of new Codes and Code revisions follow specific steps that are designed to make the process transparent, collaborative, science and consensus-based, and participative. Click here to view the steps and the Code development timeline.

Credible guidelines on animal welfare - Codes of Practice are intended to promote sound management and welfare practices through recommendations and requirements for housing, care, transportation, processing and other animal husbandry practices. Codes serve as educational tools, reference materials for regulations, and the foundation for animal care assessment programs.

Requirements - These refer to either a regulatory requirement, or an industry imposed expectation outlining acceptable and unacceptable practices and are fundamental obligations relating to the care of animals.  Requirements represent a consensus position that these measures, at minimum, are to be implemented by all persons responsible for farm animal care.  When included as part of an assessment program, those who fail to implement Requirements may be compelled by industry associations to undertake corrective measures, or risk a loss of market options.  Requirements also may be enforceable under federal and provincial regulation.  

NFACC Recommended Practices - Code Recommended Practices may complement a Code’s Requirements, promote producer education and can encourage adoption of practices for continuous improvement in animal welfare outcomes.  Recommended Practices are those which are generally expected to enhance animal welfare outcomes, but failure to implement them does not imply that acceptable standards of animal care are not met.

Stakeholder participation is critical for animal welfare to be addressed in a sustainable manner.


Click here for the page for Sustainability of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

Artisan Farms realizes that Sustainability is a common term used in business without true definition but industry round tables are producing guidelines and we at Artisan Farms embrace them. We are active in sustainability programs and share our experiences with other producer based groups.  

Artisan Farms follows the latest developments of leading Meat Industry groups, that as of March 2014 have defined the five sustainable beef principles as recently as March 17, 2014 as:

  • Natural Resource: Global sustainable beef stakeholders produce beef in a manner that identifies and manages natural resources responsibly and maintains or enhances the health of ecosystems.

  • People and Community: Global sustainable beef stakeholders protect and respect human rights and recognize the critical roles that all participants within the beef value chain play in their community regarding culture, heritage, employment, land rights and health.

  • Animal Health and Welfare: Global sustainable beef stakeholders respect and manage animals to ensure their health and welfare.

  • Food: Global sustainable beef stakeholders ensure the safety and quality of beef products and utilize information-sharing systems that promote beef sustainability.

  • Efficiency and Innovation: Global sustainable beef stakeholders encourage innovation, optimize production, reduce waste and add to economic viability

Click here for The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Invites Public Comment on the Draft Principles & Criteria for Global Sustainable Beef, the portal for this initiative.

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