BREAKING NEWS: AFAC develops livestock transportation training program

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CALGARY, Alta. — Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) has announced it’s developing a comprehensive training program for livestock truckers.

Tim O’Byrne made the announcement on behalf of AFAC at the Animal Transportation Association’s Livestock Trucking Workshop in Calgary, Alta. yesterday.

"The logistics of transporting livestock are complex and impact the over-all quality performance of meat products. Improved handling reduces losses associated with livestock stress," said O’Byrne. He added "The majority of truckers do a good job and we know from the extensive work done consulting with haulers, that they recognize the value of training."

The Quality Livestock Transport program will focus on the humane and safe transport of livestock including regulatory requirements in the U.S. and Canada. AFAC is developing an advisory committee to oversee the project, which will include the topics of livestock handling, loading, biosecurity and recognizing and dealing with livestock that’s unfit for transport.

Truckers who complete the one-day program will receive a certificate provided they pass the test.

"It’s not going to be easy to pass this test, you can’t sit there with your eyes closed," O’Byrne explained.

He also said the new course will incorporate parts of the National Pork Board’s Trucker Quality Assurance (TQA) program. In turn, the Pork Board will provide participants will full TQA certification. AFAC said it ha identified a desire among livestock truckers to have access to increased education. Funding is being provided by the Alberta Livestock Industry Development Fund.

O’Byrne said benefits to participants will include: a reduction in losses, injuries and accidents; increased understanding of compliance issues; and recognition as a competent carrier from groups including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. AFAC said it hopes to roll the program out this October.

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