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St. Helen’s Meat Packers leads industry with driver training requirement


June 25, 2010
By OFAC

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NEWS HIGHLIGHT

St. Helen’s Meat Packers leads industry
with driver training requirement

St. Helen’s Meat Packers, a family-owned meat packing and processing company in Toronto, has become the first company of its type in Ontario to mandate Certified Livestock Transportation (CLT) courses for all livestock transporters delivering to its facility.

June 24, 2010 – St. Helen’s Meat Packers, a family-owned meat packing and processing company in Toronto, has become the first company of its type in Ontario to mandate Certified Livestock Transportation (CLT) courses for all livestock transporters delivering to its facility.

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Drivers will have to have successfully completed a CLT course if they want to continue delivering livestock to the plant in Toronto.

The CLT course is offered in Ontario by the Ontario Farm Animal Counci l (OFAC). CLT provides a common sense, fact-based approach to training that gives professional livestock transport drivers the information and tools they need to provide quality care and handling to the livestock they are entrusted with in transit. The course focuses on promoting the well-being of livestock during moving and transport – thus improving animal welfare and reducing losses and injuries.

Drivers must take a one-day course and then successfully write an exam before being certified. The courses are taught by OFAC’s Livestock Transportation Specialist Dave O’Rourke who has four decades of experience as a driver and as a fleet owner.

Dr. Andy Muallim, Director of Food Safety and Regulatory Affairs for St. Helen’s Meat Packers, said that the course fits well with the company’s slogan of “The sign of quality.”

Said Muallim, “Healthy animals arriving at our facility means a better quality product which benefits all sectors of the industry from farmer to transporter to processor and ultimately to the consumer.” He added, “We’re extremely supportive of adopting any initiatives that help to enhance the humane handling of livestock.”

O’Rourke commended St. Helen’s for its leadership in making the announcement requesting all drivers to be trained and certified in the CLT program. The goal is to have the program mandatory within a year. Said O’Rourke, “The CLT course demonstrates to the public that the livestock industry is being proactive in improving livestock handling and transportation.” He concluded, “The course also raises the professionalism of our entire industry.”

Drivers wishing to enroll in the day-long program should contact O’Rourke at 519-565-4111 or dave@ofac.org

The Ontario Farm Animal Council is the voice for animal agriculture, representing over 40,000 livestock and poultry farmers, associations and businesses on issues in animal agriculture such as animal care, food safety, biotechnology and the environment.