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Podcast: Employee training and impact on pig welfare

In this edition of the Real P3 podcast, Dr Casey Bradley speaks to animal behaviour and welfare specialist, Dr Arlene Garcia. Together they discuss the challenges producers have around language barriers in pork production, and touch on some importance animal welfare issues.

The Real P3 podcast series is an initiative where pork professionals worldwide are interviewed about challenges and solutions in their day-to-day work.

Podcast: Employee training and impact on pig welfare

In addition to being a faculty member at Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr Garcia is an animal welfare consultant and auditor focusing primarily on swine but also on poultry and dairy cattle. Her goal in this position is evaluating animal health and welfare programmes, assessing the implementation of such programmes, and determining how employees understand and follow the standards.

During her work experience and research, she says it became obvious that there was a gap in communication. “How can we fix this? How can we break the [communication] barrier between the veterinarians, the caretakers and animal science professionals?”

To address these issues, and with the help of a linguistics experts, she has developed courses that focus specifically on agricultural terminology, and which will be taught to veterinarians and animal science professionals working with non-English speaking employees.

Cultural considerations

Dr Bradley asks if we are training our employees correctly. In response, Dr Garcia touched on the importance of not only language, but culture differences and sensitivities that need to be understood. She also talks about the value and importance of training each individual in the most valuable way and developing training around the trainees, their needs and level of education.

Animal welfare in the swine industry

Dr Garcia discusses some of the main issues around animal welfare that the swine industry needs to address. She speaks about timely euthanasia, preparing staff to cope with this kind of work, and determining what prevents people from doing this job. She also talks about the importance of educating children in the production of livestock.

Earlier episodes of the Real P3 podcast series

Pig Progress has published numerous episodes of the Real P3 podcast series, with the most recent being the following: