The Cattle Industry's Guidelines for the Care and Handling of Cattle is now available through the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). This 15-page Beef Checkoff funded publication includes sections on industry developed standards for feeding and nutrition, disease prevention practices and health care, transportation, handling downer cattle and euthanasia techniques and stress reduction. It also contains a self-evaluation for producers and their employees.

Included in the publication a Code of Cattle Care that lists general recommendations for care and handling of cattle:

  • Provide necessary food, water and care to protect the health and well-being of animals.
  • Provide disease prevention practices to protect herd health, including access to veterinary care.
  • Provide facilities that allow safe, humane, and efficient movement and/or restraint of cattle.
  • Use appropriate methods to humanely euthanize terminally sick or injured livestock and dispose of them properly.
  • Provide personnel with training/experience to properly handle
  • Make timely observations of cattle to ensure basic needs are being met.
  • Minimize stress when transporting cattle.
  • Keep updated on advancements and changes in the industry to make decisions based upon sound production practices and consideration for animal well-being.
  • Persons who willfully mistreat animals will not be tolerated.
"With all the cattle care and treatment issues coming down the pike, it's very important that we distribute these guidelines as widely and as quickly as possible," says Ryan Ruppert, NCBA's director of Quality Assurance programs. "Producers need to be proactive in the of proper care and handling of cattle as activists and retail groups push for care and handling accountability at the farm, ranch and feedyard levels."

The cattle care publication can be obtained by contacting your state Beef Quality Assurance coordinator or state beef council. For more information contact Ryan Ruppert, 9110 East Nichols Ave., Centennial, CO, 80112 or call 303/850-3369.
-- Clint Peck