November 25,2008 – Guelph, ON – The Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC) is pleased to announce the hiring of Dave O'Rourke to the newly created position of Livestock Transportation Specialist.
Over the next three years, O'Rourke will be tasked with providing specialized training to livestock transporters in Ontario through both the Truckers' Quality Assurance (TQA) training program for hogs and the
Certified Livestock Transportation (CLT) program for all species of livestock. O'Rourke will also take a lead role in creating and offering other learning opportunities for improving livestock handling related to transportation with farmers, processing plant and sales barn staff, and emergency personnel.
O'Rourke has been involved with the Ontario livestock transportation industry for 35 years first as a driver and then as the former owner of O'Rourke Transport, a livestock transportation company based out of
Dublin, Ontario. He is certified through both the TQA and CLT programs, is a long standing member of the Transport Safety Association and is a former recipient of Ontario Pork's Good Handling Award.
Crystal Mackay, OFAC's Executive Director said that she is delighted to have someone with O'Rourke's experience and qualifications join the OFAC team. Said Mackay, "Creating this position will enable OFAC to provide a coordinated approach to livestock transportation training in Ontario. He will help raise the level of understanding and appreciation for improved animal care during the transport process for anyone who works with livestock."
O'Rourke said that he looks forward to beginning work immediately to "promote safe working and driving conditions to those involved in the transportation of animals."
Funding for this three-year project has been provided, in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Adaptation Council. Financial support has also been contributed by the Ontario pork industry's In Transit Loss Account (ITLA) committee and by the Ontario Cattlemen's Association. Letters of support for the initiative were received from processors, transporters, commodity groups and the Livestock Transporters' Division of the Ontario Trucking Association.
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