How important is stockmanship training (and who should pay)?

UK - Ways of improving stockmanship and animal welfare in Britain are to be proposed in a report to government by the Farm Animal Welfare Council.
calendar icon 14 August 2003
clock icon 3 minute read
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NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & White-hall, and with pro-cessors, supermarkets & caterers – fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

The report is expected to consider whether stockmen/women are adequately trained, bearing in mind the 'low training culture' in the British livestock industry.

Farmers are being asked to give their views on what the report should contain. The Farm Animal Welfare Council is particularly interested in receiving feedback from the industry on the following points:

  • How adequate are existing provisions for effective education and training (and continuing professional development) for livestock farmers and stockmen/women in view of the comprehensive knowledge and wide range of skills required to enhance animal welfare?
  • The very low training culture in livestock industries has been highlighted in recent reports. What do you consider are the reasons for this and how might the training culture be enhanced?
  • What are the possible reasons for the low uptake of opportunities towards National Vocational Qualification attainment in the livestock industries?
  • What is the current and likely future availability of high quality trainers to further enhance the high capabilities of competent livestock farmers and stockmen/women?
  • How adequate are current provisions for training to further enhance farm animal welfare?
  • What are the relative merits of (1) college-based vocational training and (2) training in the workplace (i.e. on the farm) for young stockmen/women?
  • In the case of experienced livestock farmers and stockmen/women, what are the relative merits of (1) on-farm training which is purpose-built to needs, (2) community group training at a central location and (3) self-learning?
  • What is the range of potential dividends from high quality regular, progressive on-farm training in animal husbandry and welfare?
  • What is the value of 'good husbandry' (i.e. a soundly designed production system, good management and stockmanship) as a key to achieving and maintaining high standards of animal welfare?
  • Who should pay for high quality training to enhance animal health and welfare? Should training be financed by the industry or should it be subsidised by government?
  • Is the provision of high quality training to livestock farmers and stockmen/women a useful complement to farm assurance initiatives to further enhance animal welfare and health?
  • How effective is the transfer of relevant knowledge and technologies from research to practice to enhance farm animal welfare at the present time?
NPA members can email their views on all or any of the above points, to Ann Petersson at NPA, by September 15 please.

Source: National Pig Association - By Digby Scott - 14th August 2003
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