New Humane Training Program for Animal Handlers

US - American Humane® Certified has officially launched its new humane training program that fully answers the food industry’s call for better trained animal handlers.
calendar icon 2 October 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The program’s curriculum, whose initial development was first announced in March 2009, focuses on best practices and the science-based standards originated by American Humane Certified and its Scientific Advisory Committee.

The new training is available online and on-site. An important aspect of the curriculum is the early recognition of behavior or health problems that could be detrimental to the individual animal or the entire flock or herd. It addresses animal-welfare issues and poor animal husbandry that are created by a lack of worker/handler knowledge.

Students will be tested at the end of the training and will be retrained in any areas in which they exhibit a lack of thorough understanding. The program instructors are animal science professionals who will provide onsite demonstrations and guidance in appropriate handling and treatment, whether in the barn or in the field.

"A significant lack of knowledge of basic, good animal handling and husbandry practices, plus strong requests from the industry, prompted us to develop this very first, hands-on, independent program,” said Tim Amlaw, director of American Humane Certified. “It answers the industry’s need for education of existing and new employees so they can ensure proper and humane animal welfare and avoid potentially negative issues. And it comes from the credible, humane and historic leader in farm animal welfare in the United States.”

Mr Amlaw noted that while there are other printed or video training materials offered by industry trade organizations, there was no curriculum or program that offered basic hands-on humane handling, care or testing for animal handlers and managers by an animal welfare organization.

The program will be beta-tested at egg producer Radlo Farms in Maine, in both Radlo’s Certified cage-free operations and in its non-Certified caged operations.

“Our educating of employees, growers and contractors who handle animals will complement and expand American Humane Certified’s existing national program of auditing and certifying the humane handling of animals raised for food,” Mr Amlaw added. “For both large and small food producers, this training will illustrate a significant, socially responsible undertaking. Other users likely will include universities and government agencies dealing with agriculture.”

Mr Amlaw said that as people have migrated away from rural settings over the years, there have been fewer and fewer well-trained workers to handle and manage farm animals. The need for new employees continues to grow in the food production industry, and the need for training and development of experienced workers is key to the agricultural industry and is paramount for the welfare of farm animals.

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