Training course returns to Darwin
The NTLEA was pleased to help host a special livestock training course in Darwin in 2022, specially designed for managing cattle and buffalo on voyages to South East Asia.
The LiveCorp course provides accreditation for shipboard stockpersons, whose primary role is looking after the livestock being exported by sea.
A pilot course was held in Darwin in conjunction with the Young Livestock Exporters Network (YLEN), rather than the traditional location of Fremantle.
Being in the Northern Territory provided an ideal opportunity to boost the buffalo component of the course. The volume of buffalo exports has grown in recent years, especially with high cattle prices and low supply, and all are shipped out of Darwin port.
Adrian Phillips from the NT Buffalo Industry Council came on board to help with the practical livestock handling sessions which are an important feature of the course.
LiveCorp sent a videographer out ahead of the course to film Adrian and our low stress livestock handling trainer, Byron O’Keefe, working with buffalo. They are like-minded about the value of understanding and working with the animals’ natural behaviours, to get effective outcomes while keeping both humans and animals safe. The videos now form part of the ongoing course materials.
Each participant in the pilot course had an opportunity to put theory into action and work with the buffalo in yards under the guidance of Adrian and Byron, as well as to ask questions and learn more about these animals.
The practical day also included a cattle handling component, held at the NTLEA’s Berrimah Export Yards, and an opportunity to visit the port to view a ship being loaded. The week-long course also has classroom sessions on regulatory requirements, animal health and treatments, and life on board.
YLEN received a drought resilience grant through the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal, with presentations by The Livestock Collective and the Northern Australia Climate Program added to the usual program.
This provided an opportunity to highlight the role of live exports as an alternate market when farm turn-off is high during times of drought, and in supporting employment throughout the supply chain.
LiveCorp is in the process of reviewing the pilot and how any future courses in Darwin may work. There are also plans for a thorough review of the course itself and associated resource materials, to make sure it is meeting the needs of both participants and the wider industry.