About The Standard

The Canadian Down Standard was created by stakeholders who identified a need in the marketplace to maintain the integrity of authentic Canadian Sourced Down and Feather products.

The Canadian Down Standard (CDS) has been developed to verify and validate the animal welfare and traceability practices of suppliers throughout feather and down supply chains. The Canadian Down Standard gives downstream consumers – processors, manufacturers, end-users confidence in the practices of the entire supply chain to no animals – waterfowl or otherwise – are treated inhumanely or subject to undue harm in the production of Canadian Down & Feather products.

The certification process, consisting of on-site inspections and periodic traceability documentation reviews, provides stakeholders with quality and humane treatment assurance at every tier of the supply chain.

Program Principles

The standard has been developed in consultation with stakeholders, industry professionals, & the International Down and Feather Laboratories (IDFL) following a comprehensive analysis of international best practices and industry benchmarks, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Textile Exchange’s Responsible Down Standard framework and The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare (“The Five Freedoms”). During this analysis, it was recognized that domestic production within Canada is subject to distinct circumstances from other jurisdictions around the world. As such, there are several cases where the CDS requirements are more rigorous than internationally recognized practices.

The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare

The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare (“The Five Freedoms”) lay the foundation for all internationally recognized humane animal treatment programs. Compliance with the five principles is critical and includes ensuring that animals are:

1. Free from hunger and thirst by providing ready access to fresh water and a healthy diet
2. Free from discomfort by providing appropriate shelter and a comfortable resting area
3. Free from pain, injury or disease by prevention as well as rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatment
4. Free to express normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper living facilities and company of the animal’s own kind
5. Free from fear and distress by providing appropriate conditions and treatment to avoid mental & physical suffering