TQA Training Reduces Hog Losses During Transport

25 July 2012, at 7:41am

CANADA - The producer services manager with Sask Pork says the introduction of the Transport Quality Assurance (TQA) Programme has helped reduce losses of pigs during transport, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Transport Quality Assurance Programme was developed by the US based National Pork Board in 2005 in response to increasing losses during transport and the training is now offered throughout North America.

TQA was among the topics discussed last week as part of the 2012 Cross Border Livestock Health Conference held in Saskatoon as part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Conference.

Saskatchewan Pork Development Board Producer Services Manager Harvey Wagner says the training has been helpful in reducing losses during transport.

Harvey Wagner, from Saskatchewan Pork Development Board says: "It focuses on a number of areas of the whole transportation process, things like handling, journey planning, loading, unloading and transportation, the fitness of the hog, like how the hog handles the movement and transportation process, biosecurity, emergencies and then the laws of course which are laws and audits.

"It helps the people who are handling and transporting pigs focus on the animal and the needs of the animal and the response of the animal to the transport.

"Most of drivers are very good but a lot of the drivers that we have now are relatively inexperienced in livestock transport and haven't had the opportunity to handle animals as much as maybe they used to in the past so you just can't assume that people know how to handle animals because they don't.

"Even some of the techniques that we used to use in handling animals weren't necessarily the best.

"As we seen now with more research and the ethology departments at the different universities and institutions have shown us that there's things that need to be done differently and how we can approach handling animals is really important."

Mr Wagner says the program has helped drivers, transporters and the industry focus on their role when transporting animals.