To ensure that their auditors are up-to-date on all industry welfare criteria and standards, the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization has established a “distance learning” webinar covering new criteria areas in transportation.

The American Meat Institute recently made significant revisions to its PAACO-accredited meat plant welfare auditor program, specifically in the areas of transportation and slipping and these changes were incorporated into PAACO’s May 2010 auditor training. 

All currently certified PAACO auditors or those who took the PAACO meat plant welfare auditor course prior to May 2010 will be required to take this additional course to maintain or gain certification.  Certified auditors completing the webinar will be credited with four hours of continuing education to apply toward the 12 hours required for recertification.

Instruction will be given by Ashley Peterson, AMI’s director of regulatory affairs and a PAACO-certified auditor.  The training will consist of viewing a video and taking a pass-fail examination.

The course, which is being administered by Iowa State University’s department of continuing education, will be available 24 hours a day from Aug. 30 to Oct. 1.    A $60 registration fee, payable by credit card is required at time of registration.

“This is a unique and vital opportunity for our auditors and trainees to become proficient in current Meat Plant welfare criteria and standards,” says PAACO Executive Director Mike Simpson. “Assuring that all PAACO-certified auditors are up-to-date with the latest industry guidelines adds further credibility to our program and ensures customers and suppliers that PAACO auditors are knowledgeable and trained on all aspects of animal welfare.”

The web-based course is also open to other interested individuals, including those who have previously taken a PAACO course and not become certified or who have not renewed their certification.