Code Public Comment Periods: Is YOUR Voice Being Heard?


Dr. Jeffrey Spooner, AGralytics / University of British Columbia (UBC)
Jackie Wepruk, General Manager, National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC)

Every Code of Practice for farm animals developed through the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) Code process undergoes a public comment period before being finalized. However, once someone submits their comments – what happens? What assurances are there that any individual’s submission was heard? What is the point of having a public comment period if the final Code looks pretty much the same as the version that went out for public comment? Is farm animal welfare really improving as a result?

This presentation will pull back the curtain on the Code public comment period to answer these questions and more. The purpose and function of the public comment period will be explained, along with the results of a qualitative study that examined the integrity of the process. The study looked at the management of public input, procedural standards and practices, impartiality, procedural challenges and potential improvements to the process.


  1. Functionality of the Code of Practice public comment periods.
  2. How public feedback is tangibly addressed and incorporated into the Code process.
  3. Prospective enhancements to the public comment period process.


Dr. Jeffrey Spooner is an animal scientist who conducts social science research in the field of animal health and welfare. He is also a consultant who facilitates multi-stakeholder agreements involving animal care and handling practices. He supports NFACC, CFIA and the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council. He also helps individual industries meet increasing demands for more comprehensive approaches to animal health and well-being.

Jackie Wepruk has been the General Manager of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) since its inception in 2005. Jackie facilitates a partnership on NFACC between governments, farmed animal industries, the veterinary community, the humane movement and other allied groups. She assists NFACC’s partners in achieving practical solutions to farm animal welfare concerns that address the interests of farmers, domestic and export markets, governments and the Canadian public. Jackie has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Winnipeg and a Master of Environmental Design from the University of Calgary.