The beef industry, through the checkoff-funded BQA (Beef Quality Assurance) program and the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), recently released an auction market BQA training DVD titled “Focal Point, an Auction Market BQA Guide.” Given recent events at the Westlake/Hallmark packing plant in California and the resulting increased regulatory and media attention given to animal handling throughout the livestock industry, it is more important than ever that livestock markets do all that they can to reinforce proper animal handling techniques and practices at their facilities.

As a result, LMA sent out approximately 2,000 DVDs to auction markets across the country, covering 99% of the auction markets in the United States. LMA is also encouraging auction markets to reach out to their state BQA coordinator to further certify their market and look at possible producer training opportunities. Copies of the video were also sent to each State Department of Agriculture and state veterinarians.

“We hope this cooperative effort between BQA and LMA will create opportunities to reach auction markets that have not previously had BQA top of mind,” says Ryan Ruppert, director, Quality Assurance Programs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “We also want to encourage those markets that have been non-joiners/non-meeting goers to get involved with important industry educational efforts.”

The animal handling techniques that are outlined in the DVD are important for all auction market owners, managers and staff to follow.

“The goal was to create a tool that would help market owners and managers have a conversation about BQA and correct animal handling with their market staff and to take a look at their own practices,” says Kristen Hendricks, vice president of membership services for LMA. “We feel that livestock auction markets have a good story to tell about their BQA and animal handling practices but there is always room for more education and a renewed focus on this very important issue.”

Copies of the beef version 2007 National Market Cow & Bull Beef Quality Audit Executive Summary are also available for ordering. Please send requests to Grace Webb at gwebb@beef.org or call 303-850-3338.