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General Animal Welfare

Meeting high standards of animal welfare has become an important goal of livestock operations. To meet these standards many producers are increasingly turning to alternative approaches and techniques.

Topics:
Animal Welfare - Current Issues
Welfare-friendly Techniques
Pain Management
Feed Shortages
Animal Behaviour and Welfare Organizations

Animal Welfare - Current Issues

Animal Welfare Verification in Canada
Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan Inc.
A discussion paper for the Canadian livestock and food industry on the future role of animal welfare in food quality assurance programs. (PDF)

The U.S. Prohibition of Horsemeat for Human Consumption: Is This a Good Law?
Canadian Veterinary Journal
The prohibition of horse slaughter in the U.S. is viewed by some as an animal welfare success and by others as a misguided move. The legislation, this veterinarian writes, may ironically compromise the general welfare of horses and the integrity of the animal farm movement. (PDF)

Welfare-friendly Techniques

Dehorning Beef via Genetics
Joseph M. Stookey, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
This researcher offers a welfare- and industry-friendly alternative to conventional dehorning: the breeding of calves without horns. (PDF)

Effects of Castration Technique and Anesthesia on Behaviour and Weight Gain
Joseph M. Stookey et al.
How do the various castration techniques impact behaviour and weight gain on the feedlot? How effective is epidural anesthesia? This study provides answers to these questions. (PDF)

Alternate Weaning Strategies for Cow-Calf Producers
Joseph M. Stookey, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Weaning is unnaturally premature, and can result in physical and emotional distress as cow and calf attempt to reunite. But weaning stress can be reduced – and weight gains improved - by altering weaning technique. (PDF)

Non-Ambulatory Cattle (“Downers”)
Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan Inc.
Procedures for the humane treatment of animals which are unable to stand or walk.

Pain Management

Testing a Novel Method to Minimize Pain Due to Processing in Piglets
Séguin, M.J., Livingston, A., Alcorn, J. and Stookey, J.M. 2006
A practical way of mitigating pain in piglets during tail docking and castration is to administer an analgesic to the lactating sow. (Powerpoint Presentation)

Euthanasia in Cattle
Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan Inc.
Procedures to follow in case of emergency or to prevent further animal suffering from illness or accident. (PDF)

CVMA Position Statement: Castration, Tail Docking, Dehorning of Farm Animals
Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association
To ensure humane treatment of livestock, the CVMA recommends that procedures such as dehorning and castration be performed within the first week of life.

Feed Shortages

Animal Health Concerns When Pasture and Feed is Limited
Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan Inc.
While a prolonged lack of feed or water causes severe weight loss and even death, more commonly observed effects are reduced reproductive performance and compromised immunity. (PDF)

Not Enough Feed for the Winter?
Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan Inc.
Manage food limitations throughout the winter. (PDF)

Winter Feeding Beef Cows: Feed Waste and Feed Site Production
Bart Lardner, Western Beef Development Centre
According to this study, it is cheaper in the long run to winter cows in feeding fields, as nutrients for pasture growth are captured. (PDF)

Winter Feeding Beef Cows: Managing Manure Nutrients
Bart Lardner, Western Beef Development Centre
This study also found that it is cheaper to raise cows in field feeding sites than in drylot pens. (PDF)

Animal Behaviour Organizations

Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
Applied Ethology

Animal Welfare Organizations

National Farm Animal Care Council
Alberta Farm Animal Care Association
Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan
Manitoba Farm Animal Council
Ontario Farm Animal Care Council

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