Safety and Welfare in Livestock Auction Markets: The Master Drover Programme

The Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) works to ensure that livestock markets throughout the UK are working to the highest standards of health and safety and animal welfare and complete and accurate traceability.

Therefore, the LAA has developed the Master Drover Programme in co-operation with Miriam Parker (Livestockwise) and the AHDB. This is offered in addition to in-house training that is already in place.

The programme consists of seven LAA modules, show below, and four AHDB modules.

LAA Modules:

  1. Animal Behaviour
  2. People Behaviour
  3. Senses
  4. Fear and Anxiety
  5. Strategies for Survival
  6. Stress and Suffering
  7. Facilities Fit for Purpose

AHDB Modules:

  1. Unfit Animals (Inspection and Checking)
  2. Presenting Stock for Sale
  3. Importance of Clean Livestock
  4. Understanding Carcase and Meat Quality

The Master Drover Programme was originally designed and delivered on a ‘train-the-trainer’ basis where an individual from each market could undertake the training delivered by Mariam and then deliver the content to drovers and staff members back in their own markets, using the materials and resources provided. This has been completed by representatives from 32 livestock markets.

This LAA-owned material has now been converted into a series of online training modules, which is available to all LAA member marts for an annual fee. There are now 24 markets using the online service, with nearly 250 drovers registered and having logged into the portal, and between them, have now completed over 1,000 individual courses.

Future physical ‘train-the-trainer’ events will be made available if the demand is high enough and the LAA encourages all marts to ensure staff are up-to-date with Health & Safety, Animal Health & Welfare and Traceability standards.  

If member markets are interested in attending a physical training event, please contact Chris Dodds, LAA Executive Secretary - [email protected].

If member markets wish to find out more about the online training course, available for an annual fee, please contact [email protected].