Millions of livestock transported annually on Alberta roads now have an innovative new safeguard to support their care and welfare. A fleet of state-of-the-art livestock emergency-handling equipment trailers, are set for deployment in key areas of the province. In addition a new training course is being developed to support qualified workers operating and using these “livestock ER” trailers. The training course will be delivered by Lakeland College, as a new livestock-handling equipment trailer training course at the college’s Emergency Training Centre at Vermilion.
Both developments stemmed from discussions initiated by the Alberta Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Strategy Steering Committee. The steering committee was inspired by the vision and forethought of groups in Red Deer County and Ponoka that developed similar livestock-handling trailers for deployment in their areas. A subcommittee including representatives from the Alberta Equestrian Federation, the Alberta Beef Producers, Livestock Identification Services, RCMP, Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development created the initial project plan. Funding support was provided through the federal/provincial/territorial Growing Forward initiative.
Several counties/municipalities and one non-profit organization were chosen as trailer sites, based on animal movement volumes and strategic co-ordination plans. These include MD of Willowcreek — Claresholm; Cypress County — Medicine Hat; Westlock County — Westlock; Vermilion River County — Vermilion; and the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which will deploy an Alberta-wide roaming unit.
AFAC is a partnership of the major livestock producer organizations of Alberta, along with affiliate and associate members, dedicated to promoting responsible, humane farm animal care. Learn more at www.afac.ab.ca.