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Moos News

ProAction Update

As most of you are aware by now, the Dairy Code of Practice was updated recently with a number of changes to take effect over the next number of years. Below is a list of the key changes that are effective as of April 2024.

Calf Housing

  • Tethering is not allowed when housed “indoors.”

  • If tethered, must be by a collar and must have access to exit, go outside of the hutch.

  • Develop a plan to pair or group house calves if not already doing so.

  • Calves must have the ability to have physical contact with other calves, including if housed in hutches outdoors – unless isolation is needed for health concerns or inclement weather.

Cow Housing

  • Newly built barns must give daily access freedom of movement and social interactions year round.

  • Tethers must allow the animal to comfortably turn their head around to rest – stanchions are not allowed under any circumstances.

  • Electrified crowd gates are not allowed.

  • Electrified trainers must be used on an individual training basis.

  • Stocking density cannot exceed 1.2 cows/stall in free-stall systems. 

  • Resting/pack areas in group pens must allow at least 100 square feet.


Calving Area

  • Newly built barns must allow cows to calve loose in an area where they can turn around such as a pen, yard or pasture.


  • Calves must be:

    • gradually weaned;

    • minimum 5 days weaning period;

    • at least 8 weeks old at weaning completion;

Health Practices 

  • Castration:

    • done as early as possible;

    • use local anesthesia AND systemic analgesia;

  • Tail Docking:

    • not unless medically necessary;

    • pain control must be used ;

  • Disease Recording

    • - events, treatments, mortalities (and cause if known) must be recorded;

    • - records must be kept for 3 years;

  • Calf Mortality

    • - if mortality of calves 2 days of age or older exceeds 10%, corrective actions must be taken in consultation with a veterinarian or other qualified advisor;

Down Cows

  • Apparatus that are designed to lift, move, and support down cattle must be used according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

  • Hip lifters must only be used to lift an animal for a short duration - they must never be used to move down cattle. 

  • Down cattle must not be moved by hoisting by chain, dragging, or lifting without adequate body support.

  • Personnel must not repeatedly encourage a down animal to rise if it has demonstrated it cannot get up or move.

  • If an electric prod is used, it must be used in consultation with a veterinarian and only applied on the rear flank and upper rear leg (twice at maximum) when absolutely necessary to determine if the animal can rise or if euthanasia needs to be considered.



  • Personnel must be aware of this Code of Practice and must follow the Requirements of this Code of Practice.

  • Personnel must have the competence to carry out the procedures that they are responsible for.

  • Managers must supervise personnel and must retrain them if practices begin to fall below standards of care.

While all of the above requirements are in effect as of now with regards to the Code of Practice, the DFC Proaction Committee have ongoing discussions about the incorporation of the new code into Proaction requirements.


Avian Influenza Update 

CFIA statement May 3, 2024


The CFIA, Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada continue to monitor the situation closely and continue to reassure Canadians that commercially sold milk and milk products are safe to consume. Despite reports of fragments Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPIA) detected in pasteurized milk sold in the US, a recent USDA study confirmed that pasteurization of dairy products is effective in deactivating the virus that causes HPIA, even when fragments of the virus remain.

In addition to the robust protective measures that already exist, the Government of Canada is expanding its surveillance to manage the possible emergence of HPAI in Canada by:

  • Conducting enhanced testing of milk at the retail level to look for viral fragments of HPAI.

  • Facilitating the voluntary testing of cows that are not presenting with clinical signs of HPAI to facilitate enhanced industry biosecurity efforts.

  • Additional import requirements for breeding animals imported from the US to Canada including:

    • lactating dairy cows have tested negative by PCR for HPAI virus at an approved lab within 7 days of export;

    • lactating cows found positive must complete a 60-day waiting period and have been retested with a negative result;

    • lactating dairy cows have not been on a premise where HPAI has been detected during the 60 days immediately proceeding exportation.


Lactating dairy cattle are defined as a cow producing milk, regardless of the volume of milk she is producing. This does not include dairy calves, pregnant heifers, or dairy cows that are dry or no longer producing milk.

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