Livestock transport issues covered at conference

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RED DEER, Alta. – High standards to support the well-being of livestock during transportation are a top priority of the livestock industry in Alberta and across Canada.

“Our industry has taken a strong stand against the loading of unfit livestock,” said David Hyink, a poultry farmer and chair of Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC), speaking at the Livestock Care Conference in Red Deer. “We’re also supporting standards related to time in transit, stocking densities and the training of livestock handlers.”

AFAC is a partnership of Alberta’s major livestock groups, with a mandate to promote responsible, humane animal care within the livestock industry. It has also implemented a Quality Livestock Transport (QLT) training program for livestock truckers, shippers and receivers, developed with broad input and support from both livestock and transportation industries.

“The QLT program is an example of the progress that can be made by livestock and transportation industries working together hand in hand,” stated Tim O’Byrne, an advisor on livestock transport. “We started out small, but today our livestock transportation advisory group includes broad representation of all the key players and we’ve developed modules for nearly all the major types of livestock. The professionalism and response we’ve seen from all parties has been outstanding.”

Also at the Livestock Care Conference, Dr. Martin Appelt of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provided an overview of progress on the CFIA’s new process to examine changes to Health of Animals Livestock Transport Regulations. The process toward updating national livestock transport regulations is long overdue, noted Appelt, who is heading up the initiative.

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