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New Animal Welfare Initiatives Designed to Help Reduce Risks to Animals and Humans

by 5m Editor
2 January 2007, at 7:56am

CANADA - A series of new initiatives being developed by Canada's national and provincial farm animal care councils is helping those who handle livestock reduce the risk of injury to themselves and to the animals they're responsible for, writes Bruce Cochrane.

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The farm animal care councils in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in partnership with the national council are in the process of developing several new initiatives designed to improve the safety of transporting livestock for both the animals and the people responsible for them.

Manitoba Farm Animal Council executive director Shanyn Silinski says a broad spectrum industry working group is reviewing available materials from across the country, determining how best to package that information, and identifying who needs access to it and the best mode of delivery.

Shanyn Silinski-Manitoba Farm Animal Council
Ideally we would like to see anybody that is hauling or handling livestock accessing these programs because we want to make sure that they're understanding the regulations for hauling them, the best way to load and unload, different handling and humane handling is so important.

Obviously the commodities all have strong transportation and humane handling policies and guidelines.

The bigger trucking companies also have very good guidelines for the species that they haul the most of but if they're hauling other animals they may not be as strong in those areas and we want to make sure we're topping up that knowledge and experience that they have.

We're not replacing any existing programs because TQA (Trucker Quality Assurance) enables the haulers to cross the border but we're just adding to existing programs.

We want to make sure that everything's being handled properly so that the animals arrive in good health and in good condition and that no humans are putting their safety or health at risk in the transportation process and that's really critical because the highways are crowded, there's lots of people watching and we do a good job but we just want to do a better job.

Silinski says the goal is to make sure industry stakeholders are doing things proactively for themselves.

She notes farming tends to be a reactive industry rather than proactive and the farm animal councils are working on changing that.

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5m Editor