Humane Handling Site First In The Province – for Oct. 11, 2010

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AF STAFF |OLDS

Growing concern amond consumers about humane animal handling and slaughter methods has led to a new pilot project at Olds College focusing on animal welfare, handling and safe slaughter methods.

A quarter of a million dollars was spent on two new knocking boxes (where animals are stunned prior to slaughter) and a handling system designed and approved by Dr. Temple Grandin.

The whole slaughtering system and barn at Olds College was completely redesigned and renovated as part of the project, which was funded through Ottawa’s Growing Forward program. Students taking the meat certification program will be trained on the most humane cattle and hog stunning techniques, said Brad McLeod, a meat processing co-ordinator and instructor at Olds College.

The facility will also be used to train workers in plants throughout Alberta.

There are a lot of new humane tools available so people can be exposed and trained on a variety of different slaughtering tools.

“In Canada, we’re quite far behind, so all our stunners and such are coming from Europe,” McLeod said.

McLeod said there are funds available for provincial plants to upgrade their systems to make them more humane.

About the author

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Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen lives in Edmonton and has been writing for Alberta Farmer since 2008. Originally from Saskatoon, Alexis is also the author of two collections of poetry, a biography, and a novel called "Mad Cow."

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