What is in this article?:
• In the U.S. cattle industry, animal abuse will not be tolerated. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has proactively developed multiple initiatives to assure industry wide adoption of sound animal husbandry practices.
Meets diversity of industry
BQA was designed and is regularly updated to provide flexibility to meet the diversity of the industry, including geographical needs, every producer sector or business model and all producer sizes. As technologies continue to develop, so have our programs.
Veterinarians, animal scientists and farmers and ranchers joined forces to develop more than 70 online training modules through the Animal Care Training Program, a cattle management training program, which is managed by the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University.
The Animal Care Training Program provides relevant training information for animal caregivers and is available in both English and Spanish to help us efficiently reach all individuals directly responsible for caring for cattle.
While training modules are available online and through other multimedia, we continue to utilize hands-on training. Stockman and Stewardship sessions, held around the country, apply BQA materials in a hands-on format with an emphasis on increasing cattle performance by reducing handling stress.
BQA guidelines provide managers of beef and dairy operations tools to train all workers on appropriate cattle husbandry and management, which includes humane handling and euthanasia. According to BQA, euthanasia is humane death occurring without pain and suffering. The decision to euthanize an animal should consider the animal’s wellbeing. When necessary, BQA states euthanasia should be done by either a trained employee or a veterinarian in accordance with the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) guidelines.
The BQA Code of Conduct states that abuse of animals will not be tolerated. We believe any individual — from workers to guests — who witness willful animal abuse is responsible for making every effort to stop it immediately. Watching and doing nothing to stop abuse isn’t acceptable.
BQA isn’t our only tool. NCBA has worked with industry to develop and implement the Cattle Industry’s Guidelines for the Care and Handling of Cattle. The guidelines provide a basis for care and handling in areas ranging from feeding and nutrition to disease prevention practices to euthanasia.
BQA also developed a Quality Assurance Marketing Code of Ethics and the cattle industry follows a Producers Guide for the Judicious Use of Antibiotics, guidelines developed more than two decades ago and adapted from the American Veterinary Medical Association, AABP and the Academy of Veterinary Consultants’ antibiotic use guidelines. NCBA’s Cattle Health and Well-Being committee provides strategic guidance to develop policies to ensure cattle health and wellbeing issues are being addressed to maintain the health and quality of cattle care.