The training program that allowed the certification of AW supervisors in pig farms, company owners, managers, and employees that carry out animal management ended with a large convention. SAG professionals and technicians attended the gathering, particularly veterinarians from the Animal Welfare Unit and other sectors that are in charge of monitoring the respective regulations.
In May of 2013, three regulations came into effect in order to increase the monitoring abilities of the SAG (Chilean Agricultural and Livestock Service, in Spanish) regarding Animal Welfare (AW). In accordance to these new regulations, in order for the staff of the company to be certified, it must have animal welfare training.
Facing this demand, the SAG and ASPROCER carried out an “Animal Welfare in Pig Production” training course which grouped together the supervisors of AW at pig farms, company owners, managers, and employees that manage the animals. There were also professionals and technicians from the Chilean Agricultural and Livestock Service, particularly veterinarians from the Animal Welfare Unit and other sectors that are in charge of monitoring the respective regulations.
The opening of the event (which was carried out in the Auditorium of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Livestock at the University of Chile) was led by the President of ASPROCER, Juan Miguel Ovalle, who highlighted that this course came up in order to address the obligatory training as a requirement for the certification, and furthermore, in response to a need from the associates of ASPROCER (particularly from small and medium producers), that despite of the small number of farm supervisors they may have, shall not have another alternative.
“The topic of animal welfare, far from a circumstantial trend, is a topic that is already integrated in our industry, it is a productive condition, demanded and audited by national and international markets. In this case, the fair treatment and best practices in AW, other than merely complying with a demand, is a response from our industry to the demands of the consumers”, he said.
He reiterated that in markets as important as Asia, one of the topics that specialized press always asks is precisely what animal welfare techniques are applied. “Today, this subject is open to all consumers, not just the specific groups that specialize in this area.”
He also explained that this course was acknowledged by the SAG, and delivered a 12-month certification for the participants that approved the final exam of the course.
At the same time, the Manager of Health and Food Safety from ASPROCER, Pedro Guerrero, highlighted that AW is a subject of great relevance in pig production, so much so, that it forms a part of the companies policies, which goes further than the regulatory requirements and recommendations from the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health).
He stated that this course represents a great opportunity for training which joined both the public and private sectors in order for them to be trained together with the objective of analyzing the best strategies for animal welfare, in compliance to the current norms and science (in regards to the five basic freedoms for AW).
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