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Animal Welfare

At Gay Lea Foods, we are committed to promoting high standards of care and welfare on Canadian dairy farms, and are fully supportive of a strong animal welfare system that includes scientifically informed codes of practice for animal care and handling.

We expect all farms shipping milk to Gay Lea Foods to demonstrate a commitment to the continuous improvement of on-farm practices relating to animal care and welfare, food safety, traceability, biosecurity and sustainability, and as a minimum, comply with recognized Canadian standards, where applicable, including:

Dairy Cattle – Codes of Practice for the care and handling of Dairy Cattle (, and;
Goats – Codes of Practice for the care and handling of Goats (

We continue to work collaboratively with our dairy farm members and industry organizations such as Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Goat, the Small Ruminant Veterinarians of Ontario (SRVO) and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba, to understand and ensure that these programs continue to safeguard the health and welfare of animals on-farm, while meeting customer and consumer expectations.

Gay Lea Foods/Hewitt’s also reserves the right to permanently discontinue any purchasing agreement with any individual dairy goat farm/farmer during and/or after a confirmed credible case of animal neglect or abuse. Provincial dairy farm organizations likewise reserve the right to suspend the license of any individual dairy farm or farmer when a credible case of neglect or abuse has been confirmed.