Good Training, Effective Protocols, Strong Communication Key to Maintaining Animal Welfare During Transport

CANADA - An Outlook, Saskatchewan livestock hauler suggests effective training, common sense protocols and good communications are key to maintaining the safety and security of livestock during transport, reports Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 15 January 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Last month Marcel Vermette, the president of outlook based Windridge Trucking was named as the recipient the first annual Award of Distinction for Hog Transportation Handling.

The award recognizes truckers who consistently demonstrate exceptional animal care and handling techniques, have a solid understanding of animal behavior and possess the ability to recognize signs of discomfort, dangerous conditions and when an animal shouldn't be transported.

Vermette says producers depend on these animals for their livelihoods and take their health and safety seriously.

Marcel Vermette-Windridge Trucking

I think people are more concerned with how their animals are treated.

In our case it's more breeding stock.

These people are paying big money for their breeding stock and they want it to be, from when they're loaded to when they're unloaded, they need to know that first of all that they've been treated properly, second of all that the biosecurity has been maintained through the entire trip and that they're purchasing a high health animal.

When they are putting it into their barn they want it to be still in a high health state.

The big thing is communication, communication between dispatch to the drivers on the special protocols and then communication between the driver to the pickup site and then to the drop off site.

It's a big part.

It saves on a lot of time and a lot of hardship if everybody's on the same page.

Vermette's company has implemented several protocols to ensure the comfort and biosecurity of animals being transported, including requiring drivers to be certified under the trucker quality assurance program, eliminating of the use stock prods and requiring a change of coveralls, boots and gloves after every shipment.

He suggests it's just matter of good common sense and good animal husbandry.

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