NewStream Farm Animal Care, Volume 4, Edition 3
McDonald's Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot final report available
June 2, 2016
Now the industry needs to decide the pathway forward
It had the feel of a warm family gathering with a slight undercurrent of anxiousness. Beef producers involved in McDonald's Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot gathered in Calgary, Alta. at the invitation of the program sponsor to hear firsthand the details of the project final report. And to be thanked by the sponsor for their efforts in an industry first, a clear sense they were being feted as pioneers of a new era of production.
Producer guests were joined by media, executives from McDonald's, the World Wildlife Fund US, elected officials along with selected industry players many affiliated with the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB). That last group will be on the frontlines as the beef industry wrestles with how best to use this information going forward to build a more permanent version of the initiative.
Based on the details of the report provided and the media and industry chatter the project has garnered along the way, it is fair to say this is a beef family adventure that gained appeal as it moved through 30 months of sometimes tough slogging.
Global vs Canadian Roundtables
As background the CSRB is part of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GSRB). McDonald's was a founding member of the GRSB and that group was the one which developed the baseline criteria and indicators, which the Canadian pilot project used as the basis of the criteria and indicators for the verifications in Canada.
How to load, how to lead
June 2, 2016
Trucker talks cattle transportation tips and industry leadership
When cattle trucker Rick Sincennes started in the business more than 30 years it was a different world. Today animal welfare is a profile issue in the public eye, animal activists are putting pressure on producers and the people involved in cattle transportation have an entirely different level of responsibility for themselves and their industry.
The veteran trucker has clear ideas on how to load, and how to lead. As a cattle handling trainer he teaches proper loading techniques. As an industry advocate he has been a significant player in developing today's industry standards.
In the process he has developed strong feelings on how the industry needs to lead. With transportation such a prominent part of the public's exposure to the cattle industry these days, here's his checklist of the key things needed to accomplish that.
Cattle behavior is key. The most important step in loading a trailer is understanding cattle behavior. "For example, know the animal flight zones," says Sincennes. "Stand at the edge of the chute and lean over, and you'll push cattle back. Follow cattle up the chute and walk alongside, and you may think you're chasing them. But you're actually holding everything behind you back."
Cattle will not enter a trailer easily if there is a layer of liquid on the floor. To them it's a lake. They simply don't know how deep it is and won't enter it.
New progress on animal care codes of practice
June 2, 2016
NFACC gives a codes and communications update
An updated Code of Practice for the care and handling of hatching eggs, breeders, chickens and turkeys will be released June 15, 2016 according to the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC).
This new Code, which was updated in accordance with NFACC's Code development process, has been one of the most complex code development processes completed to date given the number of sectors involved. Revisions to the "poultry (meat)" Code started in 2011. The public comment period, which ended in December 2015, garnered over 900 submissions.
Watch NFACC's website www.nfacc.ca for a news release as the new code goes live.
There is also progress on four other codes:
- Poultry (layers). This moves into the public comment period. The Code Development Committee met in early May with the aim of releasing the draft layer Code for broader input through the public comment period as soon as possible. Clarifications on the Code development process and the status of the layer Code were made available at www.nfacc.ca/news?articleid=263 for those wishing to better understand the process for Code Development Committee deliberations.
- Rabbits. The Code Development Committee met in March 2016. A summary of this meeting is available at www.nfacc.ca/progress-report-rabbit.
- Veal Cattle. The Code Development Committee met in March 2016. A summary of the meeting is available at www.nfacc.ca/progress-report-veal-cattle.
- Bison. The Code Development Committee met in February 2016. A summary of that meeting is available at www.nfacc.ca/progress-report-bison.
June 2, 2016
Quick takes on key activity and what's coming, from NewStream editors
VBP+ launches new program version
Following on the heels of the release of the McDonald's McDonald's Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot final report, the Verified Beef Production (VBP) program will officially launch VBP+, the next generation of the program. The new program version will showcase the addition of new modules for farm animal care, biosecurity and environment to the original on-farm food safety module.
The big announcement is slated for mid-June.
Register for U of Calgary Beef Conference
It has built a reputation as one of the solid conferences for the beef industry. There's still time to register for the UCVM Beef Cattle Conference 2016, June 16 and 17. The session leads off with practical workshops on Thursday morning. Space is limited and they tend to fill up early. That's followed by conference presentations Thursday and Friday. It's all here http://vet.ucalgary.ca/beef/.
Conference news from NFACC
A heads up from the National Farm Animal Care Council about two significant animal care conferences on the horizon in 2016, The International One Welfare Conference runs Sept. 26 to 28, Winnipeg, Man. More information is available at http://onewelfareconference.ca.
And the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Forum 2016 takes place Nov. 29 to 30, Ottawa, Ont. More information is available at http://www.ahwcouncil.ca.