Alberta livestock transport certification goes national

The Canadian Livestock Transport (CLT) Certification Program is now up and running coast to coast.

Formerly known as the Certified Livestock Transport training program, it was originally developed in May 2007 through Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) in association with its sister animal care associations in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, said Geraldine Auston, project co-ordinator for the CLT Certification Program.

“It really is industry driven, all the way up from truckers to processing facilities that sit at the table, advising on content along with researchers,” said Auston.

“It shows the will of the industry for doing the right thing while they are on the road.”

Proponents described it as an innovative, pioneering program of its kind internationally and a leading example of industry-driven leadership in livestock welfare.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canadian Meat Council recommend it, but it continues to be a voluntary certification program. However, more and more large and small livestock slaughter facilities are beginning to require that their truckers pass the test, said Auston.

The launch of newly updated and rebranded CLT marks the formal completion of a transition several years in the making. Some 1,500 truckers have become certified to transport livestock, and the CLT program’s managers expect more of the estimated 5,000 truckers in the sector to take the voluntary one-day course or complete the new online version now that it has been redesigned to cover the entire country.

She described the online version as a “very basic” version of the one-day classroom course that will eventually be upgraded to become more comprehensive and interactive. The online course is aimed at reaching out to more drivers, she added.

“We were getting more and more requests from drivers and processors throughout the country who require CLT or some other kind of animal care and transport certifications specific to hauling livestock,” said Auston, in describing how the program evolved from its initial focus on the western provinces to become national in scope.

It is designed to expand the scope and reach of CLT to a national initiative and ensure consistent training and delivery from province to province.

The Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC), a not-for-profit organization serving Canada’s farmed animal industry, becomes the new official home of CLT effective October 2013.

The development of CLT into a national program was made possible through funding by industry partners, and by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the five-year Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP).

The new CLT features new, completely updated modules and expanded program content to match the new national scope, including multi-species course offerings and three certification levels.

It serves as a comprehensive training course and support service for livestock truckers, shippers and receivers, and others with an interest in safe, humane animal transport.

CLT course content presents the current regulations for animal transport in Canada and the training and certification is recognized throughout Canada and United States.

Certification costs $125 per year, and is valid for a three-year period. Complete program details will be made available at www.livestocktransport.ca. More information on CAHC is available at www.animalhealth.ca.

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