Canada hog sector say training is key to effective livestock transport

The Canadian Pork Council says those who transport hogs are doing a good job and are working toward continuous improvement.
calendar icon 26 February 2019
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week the Canadian Food Inspection Agency unveiled the changes to Canada's Health of Animals Regulations governing the transport of animals that will take effect one year from now.

The regulations outline the conditions under which animals can be moved from point to point, including maximum travel times.

In an interview with Farmscape.Ca, Gary Stordy, the Director of Government and Corporate Affairs with the Canadian Pork Council, says we know that the welfare of animals depends on a variety of factors such as weather and traffic. Stordy explains: "Each of these factors have to be considered and the transporter has to adapt so we're very supportive of the requirement of the new regs for transporters to receive training.

"In fact, all of our transporters that ship hogs to processing plants are required to have training on how to properly handle the animals: to look at the forecast and plan the route they are going to take, for example.

"They take the training on what to look our for with regards to hazards in the truck. We make sure that the truck is in a safe condition to transport the animals versus not, and we do actually as an industry have a great track record for transporting pigs.

"In 2018 we shipped over 20 million market hogs to federally inspected plants. For every 10 thousand animals shipped, 37 of those animals were deemed in a condition that they maybe shouldn't have been shipped or unfortunately didn't survive the trip. So less than 0.3 percent were found to be compromised at the arrival to the plant."

Stordy says that doesn't suggest a big problem but pork producers are working to improve those numbers by investing in transportation research and participating in the National Farm Animal Care Council's effort to develop a code of practice for the transport of animals.

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