There is an increasing awareness that currently accepted moral standards of our society call for the prevention of any avoidable suffering. Domestication and artificial selection have made farm animals dependent on humans.

Consequently, according to the existing principles of ethics, humans must accept this dependence as a commitment for humane conduct toward domestic animals in all stages of their life.

Welfare codes like this Canadian Code of Practice are intended to encourage livestock producers, stock-keepers, handlers, transporters, and processors to adopt the highest standards of animal husbandry and handling.