A NEW awareness campaign on how livestock markets continue to work to the highest standards of health and safety and animal welfare is being launched by the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA).

The LAA is supporting the Farm Safety Foundation’s national annual campaign – Farm Safety Week from July 19-23 – by highlighting its members’ commitment to providing a safe and secure environment for the live sale of livestock through marts across England and Wales, as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease.

A key initiative has been the introduction of a drover training scheme by the LAA in 2017, developed by independent training professionals Animal-I, and in co-operation with AHDB.

The Safe Hands Master Drover Programme enhances existing training practices, providing a series of units covering handling, animal welfare, health and safety and market requirements.

Initially designed and delivered on a train the trainer basis, the LAA-owned material has now been converted to a series of online training modules, with the association now further developing the course content and delivery options across its member marts.

“The role of the market is very diverse, and the welfare standards for animals, and safety of people, is crucial to its success,” says Zanna Dennis, LAA development officer, who has been overseeing the development and delivery of the Safe Hands Master Drover Programme to member markets.

“This forms part of an ongoing initiative, based around practical advice and guidance to reinforce our measures to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of market clients, staff teams and of course the livestock in our care,” she adds.

The LAA is working on several new initiatives and health and safety guidance programmes that will be rolled out across the summer and beyond. Full details will follow, with updates also announced via www.laa.co.uk and through LAA social media platforms.