Monday, December 2, 2013

Hog-handling videos launched

A series of videos to show hog farmers and their employees how to handle pigs has been posted online.

The Manitoba Pork Council took the lead to produce the videos, Farm Credit Canada provided the money and the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association administered the project.

Pork marketing boards from Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta were also involved in supporting the project.

“The information in this series will help to lessen stress on both workers and livestock, prevent workplace injuries, improve workplace satisfaction, reduce in-transit losses, improve meat quality, and ensure animal well-being,” Manitoba Pork Council said in a news release.

“The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association is pleased that Manitoba Pork has taken the lead in providing resources for hog farmers and their workers through the FCC Ag Safety Fund,” said Marcel Hacault, the Executive Director of CASA and a former hog producer.

“Understanding animal behaviour and identifying proven handling methods reduces stress on both workers and hogs, promoting safe practices in agriculture, which is a great use of FCC Ag Safety Fund dollars,” Hacault said.

The six-chapter series emphasizes low-stress handling techniques; up until now, there has been nothing like these videos that was so readily accessible to producers in Canada, the council says.

The videos are available on MPC’s YouTube channel (MBPorkfan) and on its website and from provincial pork boards, including Ontario Pork.

“This training video will help equip stockpeople, both new and practicing, with tools to handle pigs in a manner that minimizes stress for pigs and people,” says Dr. Laurie Connor, Department Head of Animal Sciences at the 
University of Manitoba.

Smart Pig Handling focuses on understanding basic pig behaviour relevant to handling and using that knowledge effectively to create handling scenarios that are calm, safe and get the job done easily. This translates into good welfare and good business,” Connor said.