New Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Sheep

The Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) and the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) are pleased to announce the release of the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Sheep. The Code is available electronically at

“The Canadian Sheep Federation is pleased to have been part of the sheep Code of Practice development committee, supporting the sustainability of the Canadian sheep industry and the success of our producers,” stated Corlena Patterson, Executive Director of the Canadian Sheep Federation.  “Our industry’s participation in the Code development process demonstrates our producers continued commitment to animal health and welfare, and dedication to responsible animal husbandry.”

The Code’s development was led by a 17-person Code committee comprised of sheep producers, animal welfare and enforcement representatives, researchers, transporters, processors, veterinarians and government representatives. Aiding in their work was a four-person Scientific Committee that included research and veterinary expertise in sheep behaviour, health and welfare.

“I am impressed with the industry’s dedication to seek ways to improve the welfare of sheep in Canada and believe that this new Code will achieve that goal,” says Dr. Carol Morgan, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies representative on the Code Development Committee. “In particular, it’s encouraging to see this Code define new standards for pain control during procedures like tail docking and castration.”

Canada’s Codes of Practice are a powerful tool for meeting rising consumer, marketplace and societal expectations relative to farm animal welfare. Codes support responsible animal care practices and keep everyone involved in farm animal care and handling on the same page. They are our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices, providing a foundation for animal care assessment programs and in some provinces, regulatory activities.

The sheep Code is the fifth of eight farm animal Codes of Practice currently under revision to be completed through the NFACC Code development process. More information on the Code development process is available at

Code of Practice updates initiated from 2010 to 2013 are part of the project: Addressing Domestic and International Market Expectations Relative to Farm Animal Welfare a project made possible through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.