In an effort to stay in tune with the latest animal welfare practices some 28 members of the Queensland Country Meat Processors Association (QCMPA) attended a two day course near Warwick last week.
The course program, facilitated by the Australian Meat Industry Council and known as the Young Guns Program, was held at TAFE Warwick, with hands on practical processing experience at nearby Carey Bros Abattoir, Yangan.
Experienced butcher and slaughter man Danny Gleeson, Chinchilla, who mentors youths in the program, said the core focus was to expose participants to new ideas and practices in animal welfare and livestock handling within the processing sector.
Mr Gleeson said the hope was participants would then implement key learnings in their own businesses and workplaces.
“Queensland is one of the last states to have small livestock processing sheds with 46 registered processing sites, which are vital to their communities,” Mr Gleeson said.
“We are proactive about what we do to enhance the meat quality, as it goes hand in hand with animal welfare and it is also a win, win, situation.”
Winton butcher Dan Nichol attended the Young guns for the fourth time.
“It is always good to gain more knowledge on issues such as animal welfare and get training to keep smaller plants in the lead and make sure they don’t fall behind,” Dan said.
Dan said the Winton Butchery kills, on average, four beef bodies and 30 lambs weekly for local trade.
Adam Summers who works at the Richmond Slaughter Yards attended for the third time.
“It is a great way to stay in tune with the industry,” Adam said.
“I really found the best part was to see the different infrastructure and killing methods at Carey Bros, and hope to put these into practice at Richmond.”
All participants gained a TAFE-based animal welfare officer skill set certificate.