In previous blog posts we’ve talked about the ways Alberta cattle feeders are building public trust.
Key to that is confidence that cattle feedlots are operating in an ethical and sustainable way. That’s a priority for Alberta’s cattle feeders, and one we take seriously as the association for the industry. So, this week we’re taking a look at how we ensure that our animals are cared for in the very best way possible.
What you need to know about animal care in the feedlot industry
For a feedlot operator, the health and well-being of their cattle is the single most important part of day-to-day operations. That’s why pen checkers ride their horses throughout the feedlot each and every day.
Cattle feeders have actively sought to foster a consistent standard of animal care across the industry. Here are some of the initiatives in which ACFA, and its members, have played an instrumental role:
- Helping develop the national Beef Code of Practice, which are nationally developed guidelines around the care and welfare of cattle.
- Working with the National Cattle Feeders’ Association (NCFA) on a new Feedlot Animal Care Assessment Tool.
- Collaborating with important animal care organizations like Alberta Farm Animal Care to make sure they have a say in our operating standards.
- Participating in related programming such as the Canadian Livestock Transport Certification Program which ensures cattle are transported in a humane and stress-free way.
- Taking part in a number of research projects aimed at improving the quality of forage and feed grains.
A word about the feedlot animal care assessment tool
We’re particularly excited about the Feedlot Animal Care Assessment Tool, which is a certified audit program designed specifically for feedlot operations. The program is the result of a true collaboration between feedlot operators, packers, retail and food service customers, veterinarians, ethologists, animal scientists and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). It’s been completed now and has been approved by PAACO.
It’s an important initiative, and one that openly demonstrates cattle feeders’ commitment to the care of their animals. We’re hoping this might eventually become a North American standard.
Community investment and animal care are just two of the ‘pillars’ on which our social license to operate is founded. Stay tuned, as we discuss the two remaining pillars in upcoming posts in this social license series: