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PAACO PRESS RELEASES
March 10, 2014
The spring version of the extremely popular Meat Plant Welfare Auditor Training/Certification Course sponsored by the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO) will be held May 13-14 in Fremont and Grand Island, Nebraska.
Registrations are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and potential participants are encouraged to apply well ahead of the April 10 deadline to ensure themselves a spot as class size is limited. This is one of only two meat plant auditor courses PAACO will offer in the United States this year, with the other slated for October 14-15 in Denison, Iowa.
The list of course instructors boasts an impressive group of industry professionals, including Dr. Lily Edwards-Callaway, animal welfare specialist for JBS Swift; Dr. Temple Grandin, president of Grandin Livestock Handling Systems; Dr. Mike Siemens, leader of animal welfare and husbandry at Cargill; and Dr. Amanda Tank, corporate manager of animal welfare and handling for Hormel Foods.
The first step in becoming a PAACO-certified auditor, the course features both classroom and hands-on instruction, with the latter being conducted at Hormel Foods swine plant in Fremont, NE, and the JBS Swift cattle plant in Grand Island.
Registration fee is $795 and includes the 2-day course, materials and two lunches. Complete information and a registration form can be found on the organization’s website, www.animalauditor.org.
September 30, 2013
WITH WQS PARTNERSHIP,
Since initiating its certified animal auditor training in 2006, the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO) has welcomed attendees from around the world to its U.S. courses. Over the years, the organization has also held meat plant and poultry trainings in Canada, serving that country’s needs with U.S. trainers.
Recently, however, the demand for welfare training of plant personnel and third party auditors has become more important in South and Latin America. To that end, PAACO has entered into a relationship with Brazilian-based World Quality Services (WQS) to carry out training services on PAACO’s behalf in Brazil.
WQS will take the PAACO curriculum and training model, translate them into Portuguese and adapt them to the uniqueness of Brazil’s market. Three auditor trainings will be offered there – cattle slaughter, swine slaughter and broiler slaughter. Trainees will be required to complete the same process as those in the U.S. in order to become PAACO-certified auditors – attend the lecture and demonstration portions of the training, pass a test and satisfactorily complete three shadow audits.
To ensure consistency with the PAACO program, WQS sent trainers to the United States this spring to go through the PAACO meat plant and poultry welfare auditor trainings. The four individuals have since completed all phases and become PAACO certified auditors in one or more of the categories to be covered in Brazil. In addition, a Brazilian graduate student majoring in welfare management at Purdue University attended the same courses and will be utilized by PAACO for assuring the U.S. -based Brazilian instruction materials follow the PAACO model.
“The impetus for establishing this partnership is two-fold,” explains PAACO Chairman Karen Christensen. “First, international customer-type companies identified this need and are seeking these services; and in the international trade arena, requirements are surfacing that in order to do business, ‘welfare officers’ – people at supplier sites that are trained in welfare criteria – will be mandatory.”
Founded in 1993 and located in the city of Botucatu, State of Sao Paulo, WQS develops certification and inspection services throughout the food chain. It develops specific protocols for farms, industry and retail in order to ensure the productivity process and production process are in accordance with international standards. As an international company that recognizes PAACO’s expertise and reputation, joining forces to expand welfare auditing internationally was a logical step.
“We are excited to be able to enter into a relationship with an organization of PAACO’s stature,” says WQS CEO Valmir Rodrigues. “In the United States, they have become, as their motto says, ‘the standard of excellence in animal welfare auditing’ and we hope to bring those high standards to Brazil and South America.”
PAACO Executive Director Mike Simpson echoes those sentiments, noting that the impact on his association will be significant as well. He says, “This is a major step for PAACO and one that we will work to make successful for advancing welfare worldwide with a U.S. basis for welfare criteria and standards adapted to local needs. It is hoped that these international customer-type businesses will benefit and utilize this expansion of PAACO’s expertise.”
The first PAACO-based Brazilian trainings are projected to be held by early 2014.
September 24, 2013
TWO SWINE WELFARE PRODUCTION AUDITS
The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO) has granted Certified Audit status to two swine production audit tools within the past month. The two audits that were reviewed by a PAACO-appointed panel and certified as having met the organization’s 11 minimum criteria are the National Pork Board’s (NPB) Pork Quality Assurance Plus® Swine Well-Being Verification Guide V2.0 and FACTA LLC’s Humane Certified ™ Animal Welfare Audit Program – Pork.
Certifying audit instruments is one of the services offered by PAACO, whose auditor trainings for meat plants and poultry have become an industry standard. While audit tools for dairy production and meat plant welfare for cattle, swine and lamb have previously attained certified status, the NPB and FACTA audits are the first to be certified for swine production.
In order to become PAACO-certified, the program must be submitted for a third-party review by a panel of animal welfare experts appointed by PAACO and overseen by a PAACO representative. This group initially critiques the audit for improvements and primarily evaluates it to determine if the audit meets all 11 minimum criteria established by the PAACO board of directors for a certifiable audit instrument. These criteria apply to all meat animal species. The panel that reviewed the NPB and FACTA audits was comprised of Doctors Don Levis, retired University of Nebraska swine specialist; Alex Ramirez, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine; and Howard Hill, retired CEO of Iowa Select Farms. Dr. Frank Owsley, Auburn University, served as the board liaison. PAACO’s board of directors makes the final determination to grant certification status. All certified audits must be reviewed annually to maintain certification status.
“It seems that right now there is a lot of interest in a quality audit tool,” says PAACO Chairman Karen Christensen. “Other species and organizations have been asking about this service in an increasing number, and we are pleased to be able to contribute in this independent way to the advancement of quality animal welfare auditing.”
Information on other species with certified audits and programs, as well as the 11 core criteria, may be found on the “PAACO Accredited and Certified Programs” page on the PAACO website, www.animalauditor.org.
August 22, 2013
PAACO ADDS SECOND FALL
In order to accommodate tremendous industry demand, the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO) has added a second fall session of its highly popular Meat Plant Welfare Auditor Certification course. The 2-day event will be held Nov. 13-14 in Denison, Iowa, in cooperation with Farmland Foods and Tyson Beef plants.
The organization usually schedules two meat plant trainings a year (one in the spring and one in the fall), but the initial fall course in Crete and Fremont, Nebraska, filled within four days of the opening of registration, leaving many would-be trainees on a wait list or forced to wait till next year to attend. “We approached Farmland and Tyson with the prospect of offering another class,” says PAACO Executive Director Mike Simpson, “and they have graciously agreed to host the hands-on portion in mid-November. We are grateful for their willingness to cooperate with us to accommodate another 25 auditors-in-training. Hormel was also very willing to assist us as necessary.”
The 2-day course will be taught by several meat industry professionals in both a classroom and “real-life” setting at the packing plants. Attendees must pass a test on the course materials in order to move on to the “shadow” phase of the certification process.
Instructors will be Dr. Lily Edwards-Callaway, animal welfare specialist with JBS Swift; Ann McDonald, manager of animal welfare and PVP for Farmland Foods; Dr. Kellye Pfalzgraf, director of the office of animal well-being at Tyson Foods, Inc.; and Dr. Mike Siemens, leader of animal welfare and husbandry for Cargill. Simpson notes, “PAACO is fortunate that such competent instructors were willing and able to adjust their schedules to teach at this second course. Their companies are also to be commended for supporting animal welfare by letting us use their people and other resources. Attendees at the Denison sites will be exposed to the same high-quality instruction as those at the Nebraska sessions.”
Registration deadline is Oct. 18 and class size is limited to 25, on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration materials are available on the PAACO website, www.animalauditor.org, or by contacting Mike Simpson at 402-403-0104, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 19, 2013
PAACO POULTRY WELFARE
The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO) is bringing its popular Poultry Welfare Auditor Training Course back to Canada on September 17-19. Held in cooperation with the Poultry Industry Council, the event will be located in Woodstock, Ontario.
While PAACO has been training poultry welfare auditors since 2006, this will be just the second time the course has been offered outside the United States. “Over the years we have had significant interest and participation from Canadians in our poultry courses,” says PAACO Chairman Karen Christensen, PhD, of O.K. Farms, Ft. Smith, Ark., who is also one of the main instructors for the upcoming training. “When we were approached about holding another training in Canada, it seemed a logical next step to continue to broaden our scope and also accommodate the increasing demand from the Canadian poultry industry. Last year’s course was so well-received, we were pleased to be asked to return in 2013.”
Although the course has been slightly modified to align with the Canada poultry industry structure, the training will adhere to poultry welfare audit criteria that are commonly audited and will be equivalent to the U.S.-based sessions. Welfare will be addressed related to broilers, turkeys and egg layers and includes production segments of breeders, hatchery, grower/producer, transportation and processing.
Classroom instruction will be held the first two days, with the first day providing a background on management and husbandry related to welfare criteria and audits. Day two will focus specifically on the process to audit those welfare criteria. On the third day, trainees will go into the field for audit demonstrations at broiler, layer and turkey facilities. At the conclusion of the site visits, participants will complete a closed-book test.
In addition to Christensen, other primary auditing instructors will be Don McIntyre, PhD, PAS, directory of poultry research and technical services for Diamond V Mills; and Matt Jones, Director of Audits and Assessments, Validus, LLC. The instructional staff also includes numerous experts in production, health care, bio-security and processing.
Trainees at PAACO’s auditor certification classes typically represent a broad spectrum of animal welfare – from academia to customers to suppliers. Corporate sponsorship for this training spans various segments of the poultry industry as well – New Life Mills, Egg Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Veterinary College University of Guelph Dept. of Pathobiology, Turkey Farmers of Ontario, Maple Leaf Foods and Cargill.
Registration is now open on a first-come, first-served basis at a cost of $1,073.50 CAD (HST included) per trainee. Class size is limited, so interested persons are urged to contact Poultry Industry Council at 519-837-0284 or e-mail: email@example.com as soon as possible. More information and a registration form are also available on either PAACO’s website – www.animalauditor.org or PIC’s website – www.poultryindustrycouncil.ca.
“We are delighted to be able to cooperate and bring this training to Canada,” says Annette Hartley, Proect Manager, Poultry Industry Council. “PAACO has long been recognized as the standard of excellence in animal welfare auditing and by holding their poultry welfare auditor course here we will be able to increase the understanding of welfare validation as well as the concentration of PAACO-certified auditors in Canada and thus better service our country’s growing poultry industry.”
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