An industry training scheme has been announced to refresh drover skills and protocols across livestock markets in England and Wales.
The Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) has commissioned a professional training course to cover key topics around:
- Handling animals
- Animal welfare
- Health and safety requirements
- Market requirements
The LAA says the scheme has been developed to address increasing health and safety, animal welfare and traceability requirements placed on the auction market system.
The programme has been developed by independent professional training company animal-i, with content from animal behaviour and handling expert Miriam Parker.
Already, 85 senior market staff have attended “train the trainer” events across the country.
Training is broken up into units, each with a video and interactive exercises and activities, which can be tailored by senior market managers.
“This cascade approach means that each business can use the package in a way that works for them,” said consultant Miriam Parker.
“Today’s drovers come from a wide range of backgrounds and one size does not fit all, so the brief was to come up with a ‘toolbox’ that could be adapted according to need.”
Alastair Sneddon, senior partner at Baghsaws and auctioneer at the Agricultural Business Centre, Bakewell, welcomed the programme, stressing that it had been developed by experts and gives scientific insight into animal handling.
“What the presentation does is to make people think about what they are doing and why, and as a consequence, do it better.”
LAA executive secretary Chris Dodds, said: “Drovers are an essential part of the smooth operation of the livestock market. They have a key role in ensuring that the highest standards of animal health and welfare are met at all times.”