The goal of PQA Plus® is to reflect increasing customer and consumer interest in the way food animals are raised. PQA Plus was built as a continuous improvement program in 2007. Maintaining its food safety tradition to ensure that U.S. pork products continue to be recognized domestically and internationally as the highest quality and safest available, it also provides information to ensure producers can measure, track and continuously improve animal welfare. With PQA Plus®, pork producers have another tool to demonstrate that they are socially responsible.
The PQA Plus® program achieves its goals through:
Producer training by a certified PQA Plus® advisor, which results in the producer receiving PQA Plus® certification.
An objective assessment of on-farm animal well-being which, when combined with the education of the producer through PQA Plus® certification, results in the farm receiving PQA Plus site status.
A PQA Plus® survey designed to evaluate the implementation of PQA Plus® in the industry. Survey results are used to identify opportunities for improvement of the program’s information and delivery.
Transport Quality Assurance ® (TQASM) is a program that helps swine transporters, producers and handlers understand how to handle, move and transport pigs and the potential impacts of those actions on pig well-being and/or pork quality. Anyone who handles or transports pigs, or sets protocols for handling pigs, is a potential influencer of animal well-being and pork quality.
There are two types of individuals certified through the TQA Program: A handler is an individual who receives TQA certification to move, handle and transport pigs. An advisor is an individual who is trained by the Pork Checkoff and who can offer certification training and administer exams to handlers.
Individuals interested in receiving TQA certification to become handlers can find a TQA advisor by clicking here.
Meat Animal Quality Assurance program (MAQA) is the certified program taught in Wisconsin to youth enrolled in the sheep, swine and beef projects. The MAQA is required for swine exhibitors at the Wisconsin State Fair. This certification meets the PQA (Pork Quality Assurance) Requirement. Check with your local extension office on the Quality Assurance requirements for your county fair and or other shows you might exhibit at.
UW Extension Website: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/animalscience/youthlivestock/quality.cfm