Agricultural Shows Australia has launched a free online course to assist young livestock competitors with understanding animal welfare
They seem to be a regular now at just about every agriculture show you visit, young competitors vying for the chance to be number one in several on-farm livestock handling and judging categories.
Now the peak body for agricultural shows, Agricultural Shows Australia with 582 agricultural shows around Australia under its care are encouraging young livestock competitors to complete a free online course in animal welfare and handling standards.
The courses are designed for young exhibitors and judges of poultry, cattle, alpacas and sheep and are available on the organisation’s website, having been developed in partnership with the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.
Chairman Dr. Rob Wilson says the courses are an important educational initiative for schools, students and shows alike, and encourages agriculture teachers to utilise them.
“It is the responsibility of shows, competitors and exhibitors to provide proper and humane care and treatment of animals,” Dr. Wilson explained, “and we want to ensure the next generation are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills.”
The courses provide training in the basics of animal handling and care, the principles of animal welfare and show ring ethics, safety and animal wellbeing.
“These are all critical aspects to support competitors and for community understanding at a time when consumers tend to know less and less about where their food and fibre originates.”
“We welcome all primary and secondary schools as well as agricultural colleges to use the courses in the classroom to complement the curriculum in the teaching of practical agricultural science courses.”
The learnings and outcomes from the courses enhance the future of the livestock industry through education, demonstration, and competition so that the competitors become more informed producers or employees in the agriculture or food industries.” The courses can be accessed for free online on this link.