The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.In mid-June, Penn State Extension’s livestock team will offer two research-based workshops on animal welfare practices regarding beef, sheep and swine. Organizers note that enhanced welfare practices can contribute significantly to improving meat quality and the bottom line.
A two-day workshop, “Animal Welfare Officer Certification Training,” will occur from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 13, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College.
The workshop is intended for live production managers, animal welfare officers, processing plant supervisors and slaughterhouse employees. Taught by a leading specialist from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and Penn State Extension professionals, the event will cover proven animal handling and slaughter practices in a practical, interactive format, according to organizers.
Sessions are aimed at helping participants:
— Realize the link between meat quality and animal welfare.
— Understand how proven animal welfare practices can improve the bottom line.
— Learn how to add significant value to the production of animal protein products.
— Understand why a focus on welfare of individual animals leads to cost-effective, high-quality food products.
Certification as an animal welfare officer is based on individual participant assessment. Participants will not take a formal examination, but instead will answer frequent multiple-choice questions using wireless keypad technology. A maximum of 50 people may participate in the certification program.
“Impact of Managing Animal Well-Being on Meat Quality” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.
Designed for processing plant supervisors, producers, packers and slaughterhouse owners, on-farm production managers, and animal welfare professionals, the workshop will address practices that ensure well-being of livestock in relation to meat product quality. The session will cover:
— Proper handling of swine and cattle before, during and after transport to the packer.
— On-farm facilities to assist with proper animal loading and handling.
— Evaluating the cost of a bruise.
— Meat quality links to animal welfare and care on farm.
— Antibiotic use and resistance on-farm.
— Antibiotic and pharmaceutical stewardship and impact on meat quality.
Participants may register for either workshop through May 31. For the two-day workshop, a registration fee of $475 covers lunches and complimentary access to the half-day workshop.
If interested in attending just the half-day workshop, participants can register for an $85 fee. A buffet lunch is included with registration.
Program registration cost is significantly reduced through sponsorships of companies and organizations, including A Greener World and the University of Bristol.
More information about the event series is available on the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/animal-welfare-training.