Farmers, like any animal owners, must follow laws for humane treatment. Laws set minimum standards and are meant for prosecuting problems after they occur. Farmers have helped to develop voluntary “Recommended Codes of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals” in cooperation with animal scientists, government and many partners. The Codes spell out what's appropriate in the daily care and handling of livestock and poultry. They outline acceptable standards for:
- Shelter and housing
- Feed and water
- Health care
- Handling and supervision
- Emergency procedures.
The Codes of Practice are internationally-recognized as models of responsible animal care and will continue to evolve. For more information, see www.livestockwelfare.com
More importantly though, in addition to rule and requirements, farmers choose to work with animals because they enjoy it. It's a huge commitment, 365 days each year.