Handle with care

by Kimberlie Clyma
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Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin will be one of the speakers at the NAMI Animal Care and Handling Conference in Kansas City, Oct. 19-20.
 
The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) will hold its annual Animal Care and Handling Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, Oct. 19-20. The workshop, which has been held annually since 1999, is intended for key plant personnel, such as managers, production and pen supervisors, training managers, quality assurance and safety staff and others involved in training personnel in animal driving, handling and stunning. It’s designed to help improve productivity, efficiency and product quality while learning the latest humane handling and stunning practices.

“The Animal Care and Handling Conference is the premiere animal welfare conference for the meat industry,” said Eric Mittenthal, vice president of public affairs for NAMI. “It has grown into a must-attend event for anyone involved in animal welfare and offers education from top experts on the latest animal handling strategies and research.” The conference has doubled in size since it was launched in 1999. Highlighting the line-up of expert speakers at the event is Temple Grandin, Ph.D., a professor of animal science at Colorado State Univ. and the world’s leading authority on humane handling of livestock.

The 1½ day conference will start at 8:15 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Westin Crown Center in downtown Kansas City and will adjourn at noon on Friday, Oct. 20. There will also be a pre-conference workshop focused on livestock transportation Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for an additional fee.

“With the meat and poultry industry processing 33 million cattle, 113 million hogs, 2.1 million sheep and lamb, and 248 million turkeys in 2012, animal handling issues are vitally important to our industry and the success of our businesses,” according to NAMI.

The conference is open to anyone in the meat industry including:

  • CEOs and senior managers who seek to understand new customer demands, and how to meet them.
  • Plant managers and operations personnel responsible for implementing new animal handling programs – or improving existing ones.
  • New livestock handlers on the front lines.
  • Producers who want to understand animal welfare from farm to plant.
  • Animal welfare auditors looking to sharpen their skills.
  • Retail and restaurant companies who seek to understand the issues and challenges involved in animal care and handling.

“The Meat Institute has led the way on animal welfare since the first Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide was published 20 years ago,” Mittenthal said. “Today as more and more consumers are concerned about how animals are handled, the conference provides education for industry members at all levels of experience to help meet those consumer demands for meat and poultry produced using strong animal welfare practices.”

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