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AMI Foundation Animal Care and Handling Conference Slated For Feb. 14-15, 2008, in Kansas City

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Washington, DC -- The AMI Foundation Animal Care and Handling Conference for the Food Industry, the leading animal welfare education opportunity for meat companies, their customers and those involved in the production and management of livestock and meat products, will be held February 14-15, 2008, at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

A special pre-conference workshop on livestock transportation will be held on February 13. Attendees of this workshop will benefit from a packed educational agenda with sessions hosted by industry leaders. Discussion topics will include international perspectives, developing a national emergency program, driver fatigue management, ventilation, loading density, managing losses and more.

The conference will open the following day with an informative general session on current global trends in animal welfare, keynoted by Dr. David Bayvel, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Biosecurity New Zealand director of animal welfare.

From 1989 to 2005, Dr Bayvel represented the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) on the New Zealand National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) and the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC). He has been a member of the Trans-Tasman Animal Welfare Working Group since 1990 and is currently actively involved with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in addressing animal welfare issues at an international level. He chaired the 2001 OIE ad hoc expert group meeting on animal welfare and, currently, chairs the permanent OIE Animal Welfare Working Group.

Following the keynote, the conference will break into three focused tracks: Management and Policy, Applied Pig Handling and Applied Cattle Handling.

This year’s faculty includes Frank Howell, director of manufacturing development and procurement at Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage, Inc. and chairman of AMI’s Animal Welfare Committee; Temple Grandin, Ph.D., president, Grandin Livestock Handling Systems; Kellye Pfalzgraf, DVM, director of the office of animal well-being, Tyson Foods, Inc.; Jennifer Woods, B.Sc., livestock handling specialist, J Woods Livestock Services; Doug Johnson of LEARN, Inc.; Bonnie Buntain, MS, DVM, assistant dean, the University of Calgary; Lily Murray, Ph.D. candidate at Colorado State University; and Leo Bartlett, president of Bartlett Consulting.

Attendees in the Management and Policy Track will benefit from sessions on foreign animal disease investigations, animal welfare and security, hiring and retaining for animal care jobs and a session focusing on the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization, Inc. (PAACO), including an audit update.

Attendees in the Applied Pig Handling Track will participate in sessions on handling, transition to CO2 stunning, equipment options and new research.

The Applied Cattle Handling Track features a look at religious slaughter and how to troubleshoot problems in Kosher and Halal operations, handling and stunning issues, challenges and behavior principles.

In addition, exhibitors may showcase their products and services during a special Welcome Reception Feb.14. To reserve exhibit space, contact Heather Schoch at hschoch@meatinstitute.org.

Registration fees for those registering before Dec.31, 2007 are $325 for AMI members, $450 for non-members and $295 when three or more members register together. After December 31, registration rates increase to $425 for members and $395 when three or more members register together.

For a complete agenda or to register, go to http://www.animalhandling.org.

This year’s conference boasts 12 cosponsoring organizations: American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, Animal Agriculture Alliance, Food Marketing Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Grocers Association, National Meat Association, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, National Council of Chain Restaurants and the National Restaurant Association.

The American Meat Institute Foundation is a non-profit research, education and information foundation established by the American Meat Institute to study ways the meat and poultry industry can produce better, safer products and operate more efficiently.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI’s members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the United States. The Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the meat and poultry packing and processing industry.

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