Tuesday, February 17, 2015

CFO's Antimicrobial Training

Improper use of antimicrobials in the feed and/or water of chicken factory farms has caused or contributed to the growing of SuperBugs on and/or in the chickens, putting the farm workers, downstream workers at slaughter plants, and retail consumers at significant risk.

After decades of delay, Chicken Farmers of Ontario ("CFO") now requires all quota-based chicken producers to be trained on the use of antimicrobials on or before May 15, 2015.

Is that requirement sufficient and effective?

Section 1.02 (i) of CFO Regulation 202-2014 (On Farm Food Safety Assurance and Animal Care Policy) passed under Ontario's Farm Products Marketing Act says:
"Producers must participate in antimicrobial use training by May 15, 2015."
Figure 1:  Part of the program at Poultry Industry
Council session in Jordan ON on Feb. 11, 2015.
Poultry Industry Council ("PIC") is putting on three training sessions, part of which provides a 1 hr. long training sessions which is said to qualify as completing that mandatory training on antimicrobial use.

As you may have guessed, I have a few questions:
  1. Has CFO verified and approved PIC's claim that their course meets all necessary requirements for this training?
  2. Can sufficient comprehension be achieved in 1 hr. or less?
  3. Does this training come complete with a comprehension test for trainees at the conclusion of the training?  If not, how do we know that the training was effective?
  4. Did the Instructors attend and successfully pass a "Train the Trainer" course on this training topic?  If not, how was it determined that they are capable of training others in this course material?
  5. What competent person reviewed the credentials and approved the instructors as competent in the course material, as well as competent as Instructors?
  6. What competent person reviewed and approved the course curriculum to ensure it was adequate for the intended purposes?
  7. If there are no answers to these important questions, what are we to conclude to the purpose and effectiveness of  CFO's Regulation?
Answers to these questions are typically required for mandatory training courses in many or most industries throughout the world.  For example, the international standard ISO 9001 for Quality Management certification would make these answers mandatory.  Should we expect the same from CFO and PIC?

A link to this posting has been sent to both CFO and PIC, seeking their feedback to these important questions.

Please hold your breath while we await their answers.  I trust they will both be back to us immediately with their full, transparent, open, and honest disclosure.   ;-)

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