OFAC hires a specialist

The Ontario Farm Animal Council (OFAC) has announced the hiring of Dave O’Rourke to a newly cre­ated position of livestock transportation specialist.

Over the next three years, O’Rourke will be tasked with providing specialized training to livestock transporters in On­tario through the Truckers’ Quality Assurance (TQA) training program for hogs and the Certified Livestock Transportation (CLT) program for all species of livestock. O’Rourke will also take a lead role in creating and offering other learning opportunities for improving livestock handling related to transportation with farmers, processing plant and sales barn staff, and emergency personnel.

O’Rourke has been involv­ed with the Ontario livestock transportation industry for 35 years, first as a driver and then as the former owner of O’Rourke Transport, a live­stock transportation company based out of Dublin. He is certified through the TQA and CLT programs, is a long stand­ing member of the Transport Safety Association and is a former recipient of Ontario Pork’s Good Handling award.

Crystal Mackay, OFAC’s Executive Director is delighted to have someone with O’Rour­ke’s experience and qualifica­tions join the OFAC team.

She said, “Creating this position will enable OFAC to provide a coordinated approach to livestock transportation train­ing in Ontario. He will help raise the level of under­standing and appreciation for improved animal care during the transport process for any­one who works with livestock.”

O’Rourke said that he looks forward to beginning work immediately to “promote safe working and driving conditions to those involved in the trans­portation of animals.”

Funding for the three-year project has been provided, in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Adaptation Coun­cil. Financial support has also been contributed by the Ontario pork industry’s In Transit Loss Account (ITLA) committee and by the Ontario Cattlemen’s Association. Letters of support for the initiative were received from processors, transporters, commodity groups, and the Livestock Transporters’ Divi­sion of the Ontario Trucking Association.

The Ontario Farm Animal Council is the voice for animal agriculture, representing over 40,000 livestock and poultry farmers, associations and busi­nesses on issues in animal agriculture such as animal care, food safety, biotechnology and the environment.

To learn more about OFAC visit www.ofac.org.