The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization announced the opening of registration for its Poultry Welfare Auditor Training Course, set for June 4-6, 2013, at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

The first step in the process of becoming a certified poultry welfare auditor, the popular three day course features an impressive array of instructors and corporate sponsors and offers trainees an opportunity for hands-on experience at broiler, layer or turkey facilities. At these sites, they will perform mock audits and see welfare criteria demonstrated in the context of day-to-day operations, before returning to campus to take a written examination over the course materials.

More than a dozen industry stakeholders have committed financial support to this endeavor, including Butterball, Cobb, Hybrid Turkeys, Hy-Line, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Koch Foods, Novus, OK Foods, OSI Group, Pacific Vet Group, Pilgrim's, Techno-Catch, Tyson Foods, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and Walmart.

"We're delighted to be able to again offer this important training here in the heart of American poultry production," says organization chairman Dr. Karen Christensen of O.K. Farms, who will also be one of the course instructors.  "It is particularly gratifying that such a wide spectrum of industry stakeholders recognize the great reputation we have to advance welfare in both the U.S. and internationally through quality training."


In addition to Christensen, many other well-known industry professionals will serve as instructors:  Dr. James Barton, director of technical services, Pacific Vet Group USA; Dr. Sacit "Sarge" Bilgili, professor of graduate program offices in the poultry science department, Auburn University; Dr. Ryn Divine, director of technical services, CalMaine Foods; Dr. Temple Grandin, president of Grandin Livestock Handling Systems; Dr. Dave Hermes, regional veterinarian for broiler chickens and turkeys, Perdue Farms, Inc; Matt Jones, director of audits and assessments, Validus, LLC; Dr. Bret Rings, internal veterinarian, Cobb-Vantress; Dr. Yvonne Thaxton, professor and director of food animal well-being for the department of poultry science, University of Arkansas; and Dr. Susan Watkins, professor and director of applied broiler research in the department of poultry science, University of Arkansas.

Registration deadline is May 6, but class size is limited and enrollment will be on a first come, first served basis. Cost for the full course is $795; in addition, current certified poultry auditors may earn continuing education credit by signing up for a daily registration at a fee of $150 per day.

For more course information and registration materials go to the organization's website, or contact Mike Simpson, executive director, at +1.402.403.0104.

The Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization is an organization of five animal industry organizations with extensive expertise on best management practices and current science in animal agriculture.  The organization's purpose is to promote the humane treatment of animals through education and certification of animal auditors as well as the review and/or certification of animal audit instruments, assessments and programs.