NewStream Farm Animal Care, Volume 3, Edition 5
Calgary conference showcases CLT progress
Posted: June 4, 2015
New funding injection breathes fresh life into critical program for responsible farm animal transport
Dr. Angela Greter of AFAC
Highlights of the latest progress with the Canadian Livestock Transport (CLT) Certification Program were showcased at a recent CLT conference in Calgary themed "Innovation, Education, Awareness."
It featured a keynote address by renowned animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin, who provided a state of the union overview on major developments in the big world of animal welfare and transportation. She covered a number of key milestones, noting tremendous advances in recent years. Among these, the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) has now established standards for slaughter, transport, depopulation, broiler chickens, beef cattle, and fish. And since 2010, multi-national heavyweights such as Cargill and JBS have adopted video auditing of their plants – resulting in huge improvements.
Looking ahead, Grandin outlined the key distinction that while health is essential for welfare, good health alone does not mean good welfare. The focus needs to be on optimal production, not maximal, says Grandin, noting industry can "back the biology off a bit" to increase the health and longevity of the animal. Grandin also reinforced her strong belief that "you can't manage what you don't measure," emphasizing that it's important to have scoring systems that are both easy to do and simple to understand.
Related specifically to transport, Grandin says the most important issue is to ensure all animals are fit to transport. Along with the fundamental welfare issue, any incidence of an unfit animal being transported that is seen or captured on video can quickly become a black eye for everyone in animal agriculture.
Tackling the key issues
Additional featured talks covered Managing Transport Emergencies, Lessons from the EU and UK, New Innovations in Livestock Transport, Biosecurity: The Critical Link Between Transport and Animal Health, Health of Animals Regulations – Current Status, Welfare Expectations at the Plant Level, Challenges of Poultry Transport, and What to Expect When Being Audited.
Editor's note: Thanks to Dr. Angela Greter, Acting Executive Director of Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC), who provided notes and observations from the conference that contributed to this report. Learn more about AFAC and its broad range of activities here and follow on Twitter at @AbFarmAnimal.