Online training now available for livestock market personnel
Proper livestock handling and animal care is a major industry topic—and now livestock auction market personnel can fine-tune their handling skills, thanks to a new partnership between Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) and the Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) at Kansas State University. LMA and BCI have collaborated to produce the Animal Care Training Web site www.animalcaretraining.org, offering training video, testing and certification in specific areas of livestock handling.
Kristen Parman, LMA’s vice president for membership services, said the program addresses “the unique animal handling challenges faced by livestock marketing business owners and their employees. With some 35 million cattle and calves, and 11 million sheep and swine going through America’s livestock auction markets annually, we feel that the markets are doing a tremendous job, but continuous training is vital for the safety of the livestock we care for and our employees.”
The training package includes topics such as low stress animal handling, handling injured or disabled animals; properly moving non-ambulatory animals; safe and responsible euthanasia, and safely working with gates. There is also a section for business owners and managers addressing the need for a coordinated animal handling or risk management program.
LMA members, which include about 80 percent of North America’s livestock auction markets, can access the training package by clicking on the Animal Care Program link at www.LMAweb.com, or by going to www.animalcaretraining.org. For a one-time fee, market owners and managers can register all their employees and gain access to all of the training modules. The full site, including all training modules, is available in English and Spanish.
With no time limits, the training can be completed and made to fit around the hectic work environment at livestock auction markets.
Dan Thomson, DVM, is director of the BCI and Jones Professor of Production Medicine. He said the program was the result of a “unique partnership” between LMA and the BCI, which produced “a novel training platform” for livestock market personnel. LMA’s member businesses “have understood the importance of animal well-being for a long time,” he continued, “because nobody cares more about the animals than the people who work with them day to day.”
Market employees, Thomson said, “will now have online tools to learn the latest advances in best management practices for animal health and well-being.” The Animal Care Training Program is “the beginning of the collaboration between our two organizations,” Parman said. “We will continue to create training modules on the key issues facing livestock marketing businesses.” — WLJ