Cattle farmers raising beef help produce a sustainable food supply for a growing global population.
 
Beef comes from American families, not factories. Caring for animals is a family tradition handed down and improved upon from generation to generation.  

6 Ways the Beef Industry Provides Exceptional Care for Cattle

Dedicated to the Well-Being of Livestock

The beef industry is committed to raising cattle with the best of care. Farmers and ranchers across the United States stand strongly against any form of animal abuse or cruelty. We know that proper livestock care is not only ethical, but it’s also good business. Here are six ways we ensure the best care for livestock.

  1. Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program – The Beef Quality Assurance Program was initiated in 1987 to provide cattle farmers and rancher with the guidelines and training necessary to ensure animal health and wellbeing as well as provide a safe, quality product. BQA principals influence the management practices of more than 90 percent of cattle.
  2. Producer Code for Cattle Care – Adopted in 1996, the “Producer Code for Cattle Care” is a comprehensive set of animal care best practices, which include livestock raising recommendations for adequate food, water and care; disease prevention practices; safe and humane movement and/or restraint of livestock; and proper training to handle and care for cattle. The Code takes a firm stand against animal cruelty and neglect.
  3. Humane Handling of Cattle in Transport – Cattle transporters play a critical role in the health and welfare of cattle by delivering cattle safely to their destination. BQA’s Master Cattle Transporter Training (TBQA) program helps ensure proper care for all cattle during transportation, but especially weak or injured cattle. TBQA also recommends the proper way to handle, load and unload during hot or cold weather. The National Trucking Association encourages its members to comply with these guidelines.
  4. Humane Handling of Cattle at Meat Packing Plants –The Humane Slaughter Act of 1958 dictates strict animal handling and slaughtering standards for packing plants. Those standards are supported by cattlemen and are monitored by thousands of federal meat inspectors nationwide. These standards include giving all animals access to water, proper space for lying down and ample access to feed for cattle staying longer than 24 hours. Furthermore, great strides are taken to ensure livestock move through chutes and pens without stress, and that they are rendered insensible to pain prior to slaughter.
  5. Scientific Research on Proper Livestock Handling – Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University works closely with beef packing plants to develop best practices for proper handling. Dr. Grandin also teaches facility managers how to conduct regular internal audits of plants. The American Meat Institute, which represents packing plants, reports that more than 90 percent of its members administer these self audits. These standards are endorsed by the Academy of Veterinary Consultants and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners as well as the Food Marketing Institute and National Council of Chain Restaurants.
  6. Scientific Research into Animal Well-Being –Cattle-raising practices and policies are also are greatly influenced by the Agricultural Research Service —which conducts scientific research through the Animal Well-Being and Stress Control System — and the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) which proactively tracks trends and identifies any problems in the production chain.
 
© 2014 Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
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