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Evidence showing an animal welfare preventive measure is effective

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It is the responsibility of the slaughter establishment licence holder to develop written preventative measures as part of the animal welfare Preventive Control Program (PCP) that are effective at controlling the animal welfare risks in that establishment, beginning with the receiving of the food animals until their slaughter. CFIA inspectors verify compliance through inspection onsite at the establishment.

Your written preventive measures must be supported by the necessary evidence to demonstrate they are effective at reducing and controlling animal welfare risks during all slaughter activities.

The amount and type of evidence required to support a given preventive measure will be influenced by the level of risk.

General principles

The evidence required to support a given preventive measure may belong in one of the following categories, at a minimum:

You can find historically accepted best practices and recommendations for developing management or animal based preventive measures in CFIA guidelines:

The process

The process for obtaining evidence to prove the effectiveness of a preventive measure requires that you:

  1. identify your animal welfare risk
  2. obtain the evidence showing the preventive measures are effective
  3. document the evidence, including where and how it was obtained

1. Know the animal welfare risks in your establishment and preventive measures needed to control them

Identify the risks that need to be controlled

Describe the risks that you have identified for which a preventive measure is required. For example, you include the risk of poor stunning technique due to improperly functioning stunning equipment, inadequate training or skill levels of the employees conducting this task or employee fatigue from long shifts.

Identify the preventive measure

Describe the preventive measure to control the risk of avoidable suffering, injury or death to the food animals.

2. Obtain the evidence that shows each preventive measure is effective

For each preventive measure:

Establish your quantitative performance criteria where used or standards of acceptability where descriptive performance criteria are used.

You can obtain these criteria from:

Determine the approach you will follow to obtain evidence

There are different ways to obtain the evidence to validate the effectiveness of an animal welfare preventive measure that include recommended best practices:

3. Revalidation of preventive measures

Several factors could result in the need for you to re-validate a preventive measure or obtain new evidence on the effectiveness of a given preventive measure. These factors include, but are not limited to:

4. Document the evidence

It is important to document all the relevant information you reviewed and/or obtained as evidence to validate the effectiveness of your preventive measures. This should include where and/or how you obtained the evidence. This information is maintained as part of your PCP and should include the following (as applicable):

CFIA references

Food-specific requirements and guidance - Meat products and food animals

Additional PCP content for food animal welfare

Other references

World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH; founded as Office International des Épizooties (OIE)) - Animal Welfare

EFSA - Animal welfare at slaughter

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