Trucking and transportation in Picture Butte, Alta.
by Nicholas Van Allen
To get a national perspective on the new livestock trucking regulations, Better Farming spoke with Rick Paskal, president of Van Raay Paskal Farms Ltd., a cattle farm based in southern Alberta.
The operation has both a feedlot and a trucking division, so the team is doubly aware of the forthcoming changes. The new rules, which include shorter travel times and stricter definitions of “compromised” and “unfit” animals, come into effect in February 2020.
As far as educating the business’s truckers goes, Paskal says that everything starts with the “training of your drivers. … All of our drivers have to work in our feedlots for two weeks and learn to handle cattle.
Ben185/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo
“As farmers, we need to be very aware of the fact that these are live animals that we’re handling. We’re going to have to be more proactive in our approach to handing livestock,” he says.
Indeed, “it’s time the (regulations) were updated. People hate to be told by the government what to do, but this is a no-brainer.”
He links the updated rules to a cultural shift. “The public is not going to tolerate inhumane animal treatment so, the sooner we get on board, the better it is,” Paskal says.
In short, Paskal and Van Raay Paskal Farms Ltd. are ready to make that shift. BF