Bernard Matthews trainer team qualified ahead of WATOK legislation

Bernard Matthews trainer team qualified ahead of WATOK legislation

In preparation for business-wide Welfare of Animals at Time of Killing (WATOK) training plans, the Bernard Matthews trainer team has now achieved their WATOK qualifications and been presented with their certificates by specialist awarding organisation FDQ.

Bernard Matthews’ work with FDQ represents the first step in a plan to ensure that all those in their business involved in working with animals from lairage to slaughter are qualified in line with new EU regulations. The legislation in England is due to come into force at an unconfirmed date in 2014/15.

Bryan Hurst, training manager at Bernard Matthews said: “Bird welfare is a high priority at Bernard Matthews and it is important to us that we are at the forefront in terms of preparing for the new WATOK legislation. Training and qualifying our assessors will assist us in achieving continuity, standardisation and ever increasing awareness of our procedures across the business.”

Bernard Matthews - WATOK certificate presentation - Sept 2014

Bernard Matthews staff receive the WATOK certificate.

“Working closely with FDQ on our WATOK plans has represented a strong period of development for us. My team now has a greater knowledge when it comes to training delivery and assessments of WATOK and will be able to ensure all relevant operatives are trained to the new legislative standards.”

Derek Williams, FDQ director and responsible officer at FDQ said: “Congratulations to the Bernard Matthews training department in not only ensuring that all their assessment team is fully qualified in WATOK, but also getting started ahead of the legislation in operative WATOK training and qualification. At FDQ we are always delighted to see businesses working to a good practice standard. We have seen a number of food businesses taking a good practice route in this area, which we feel is positive for the industry.”

Richard Griffiths of the British Poultry Council (BPC) said: “At the BPC we are delighted to see these important welfare qualifications being taken up by the poultry sector – even before the legislation is implemented – evidence that bird welfare is at the top of the agenda. Welfare can only be delivered by a highly skilled and responsible workforce, and we’re pleased to say that BPC member companies are committed to delivering top quality training to their employees. This effort has been wonderfully enhanced by the work of FDQ, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them.”

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