Poultry Partners is a proud supporter of farm animal care progress
New knowledge and innovations are transforming the opportunities to support animal care in the poultry industry and across all livestock sectors.
Insights on the trends and perspectives in animal care were featured at the recent Livestock Care Conference, hosted by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC). Poultry Partners is a proud supporter of AFAC and provided sponsor support for knowledge transfer from the conference, which featured presentations from Dr. Temple Grandin and other top experts.
Five calls to action
Here are five key examples of the viewpoints presented:
- Telling our story
“We have come a long way over 25 years,” says Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. “Animal welfare and handling have greatly improved. In many cases we have in fact seen huge improvements. We have done better at telling our story but still not enough people know about it. We need to keep communicating with the public about the good things that have been done.”
- Building progress on sound science
A key to success is to advance industry approaches based on sounds science, says Dr. Tom Inglis of Poultry Partners and Poultry Health Services. Ongoing outreach is also needed to transfer the latest knowledge to producers and industry.
Inglis helped lead a three-hour Humane Euthanasia workshop featured as part of the conference. This session allowed participants to identify and demonstrate humane euthanasia practices and how they are attainable in a farm setting. It included both classroom and lab instruction.
“We are always learning and advancing as an industry,” says Inglis. “Today by applying science based best practices we are in a very good position in the poultry sector and other livestock sectors to achieve a high level of production while also supporting a high level of health and welfare for the animals through all stages. We are raising the bar with innovations that are good for the animals and also good for producers and their industry.”
- Embracing proactive approaches and integrated strategies
One of the featured presentations at the conference put a spotlight on proactive approaches in the poultry industry. This session included both a research / academic perspective and a producer /industry perspective. Overall it emphasized the importance of embracing a mindset of innovation and continual improvement.
Canada’s poultry industry has exemplified this by championing evolutions such as modernized poultry housing approaches and production systems that enhance animal welfare while also addressing high profile trends such as strict judicious use principles for antimicrobial use.
Approaches based on integrated strategies represent the way of the future, as many factors come together to support efficient, profitable and sustainable production aligned with high standards of animal care.
- Working together for continual improvement
Many speakers at the conference touched on the theme of celebrating the past while embracing the future. The work that the livestock industry does in Alberta and across Canada to promote animal welfare and collaborative approaches plays a significant role in the future of animal agriculture. It’s a role that has never been more important as livestock sectors look ahead to the next generation of challenges and opportunities.
- Focusing on shared values
Dr. Grandin’s message of telling the story included the advice to focus on shared values when communicating with the public. “People in agriculture are not just producers, they are family members with kids who share the same values wanting to take care of animals. They want to produce healthy products they eat themselves and feed to their families. Research shows we are more effective in communicating when we focus on shared values.”