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This publication may be reproduced for personal or internal use provided that its source is fully acknowledged. However, multiple copy reproduction of this publication in whole or in part for any purpose including but not limited to resale or redistribution requires the kind permission of the National Farm Animal Care Council see www. Information contained in this publication is subject to periodic review in light of changing practices, government requirements and regulations.
Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the authors shall not be held responsible for loss or damage caused by errors, omissions, misprints or misinterpretation of the contents hereof. Furthermore, breeding season 4.6 codes authors expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether the purchaser of the publication or not, in respect of anything done or omitted, by any such person in reliance on the contents of this publication.
The Codes of Practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. They serve as our national understanding of animal care requirements and recommended practices. Codes promote sound management and welfare practices for housing, care, transportation and other animal husbandry practices.
Codes of Practice have been developed for virtually all farmed animal species in Canada. The Codes of Practice are the result of a rigourous Code development process, taking into the best science available for each species, compiled through an independent peer-reviewed process, along with stakeholder input. The Code development process also takes into the practical requirements for each species necessary to promote consistent application across Canada and ensure uptake by stakeholders resulting in beneficial animal outcomes.
Given their broad use by numerous parties in Canada today, it is important for all to understand how they are intended to be interpreted. Requirements - These refer to either a regulatory requirement, or an industry imposed expectation outlining acceptable and unacceptable practices and are fundamental obligations relating to the care of animals. Requirements represent a consensus position that these measures, at minimum, are to be implemented by all persons responsible for farm animal care. When included as part of an assessment program, those who fail to implement Requirements may be compelled by industry associations to undertake corrective measures, or risk a loss of market options.
Requirements also may be enforceable under federal and provincial regulation. Recommended Practices are those which are generally expected to enhance animal welfare outcomes, but failure to implement them does not imply that acceptable standards of animal breeding season 4.6 codes are not met.
Broad representation and expertise on each Code Development Committee ensures collaborative Code development. Stakeholder commitment is key to ensure quality animal care standards are established and implemented. This Code represents a consensus amongst diverse stakeholder groups.
Consensus in a decision that everyone agrees advances animal welfare but does not imply unanimous endorsement of every aspect of the Code. As a result, they need to be reviewed and updated regularly. Codes should be reviewed at least every five years following publication and updated at least every ten years. It is widely accepted breeding season 4.6 codes animal welfare Codes, guidelines, standards or legislation should take advantage of the best available research.
A Scientific Committee review of priority animal welfare issues for the species being addressed provided valuable information to the Code Development Committee in developing this Code of Practice. The Scientific Committee report is peer reviewed and publicly available, enhancing the transparency and credibility of the Code. Inthe Canadian Federation of Humane Societies began coordinating the process of developing Codes of Practice for all livestock species.
Hurnik brought together individuals representing the industry, professional agricultural and veterinary associations, transporters, processors, and auction markets, research, Food Production and Inspection branches of Agriculture Canada, and animal care and welfare organizations.
This revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle was updated through a similar consultation and review process, by a committee representing a wide range of stakeholders Appendix Haccording to the Code development process developed by NFACC www. All herd sizes require adequate human resources to ensure proper care and well-being of the animals. Everyone handling cattle should be familiar with their normal behaviour and should use low stress, behaviour-based cattle handling techniques. The selection and training of personnel are the most important factors in ensuring that cattle will be managed humanely.
All personnel working with cattle or managing cattle facilities should be experienced or properly trained regarding humane handling, equipment use, and livestock care. They should understand their responsibilities and ensure that routine cattle management practices promote animal well-being and avoid unnecessary suffering of cattle. Calm, healthy cattle have higher productivity and economic value than stressed or ill cattle. However, an equal standard of humane treatment must be provided to cattle that have less economic value e. The Canadian beef industry involves seedstock and cow-calf producers, backgrounding and feedlot operations, transporters, sale yards and assembly stations, veterinarians and packing plants operating under diverse climatic and geographical conditions.
Cattle care is practised all along the production chain and the well-being of beef cattle can be safeguarded under a variety of husbandry and management systems. Most husbandry systems impose restrictions on some freedoms of cattle. However, producers should consider the following:. This Code focuses on the animal. Where possible, it is outcome-based, and is intended to achieve a workable balance between the best interests of the cattle, breeding season 4.6 codes, and consumers.
It recognizes the basic principle that the well-being of cattle is a prime consideration and that cattle treated well benefit producers. The Code aims to meet scientifically valid and feasible approaches to meeting cattle health and welfare needs throughout the production system contributing to a sustainable and internationally competitive Canadian beef industry. This Code is not intended to describe all production and management practices relevant to each stage of beef production.
Instead, principles applicable to all sectors of the industry are presented along with some sector-specific considerations. Anyone building new, modifying or assuming management of existing cattle facilities will need to be familiar with local, provincial, and federal requirements for construction, environmental management, and other areas outside the scope of this document.
Individuals requiring further details should refer to local sources of information such as universities, agricultural ministries, and industry resources see Appendix G. The Code is a guideline for the care and handling of beef cattle. All provincial and federal acts and regulations must always take precedence. Causing unnecessary pain or suffering or willful neglect is illegal under the Criminal Code of Canada and under most provincial statutes. The beef cattle Code of Practice reflects current beef management practices.
It identifies welfare hazards, opportunities and methods to assure well-being. The authors recognize producers have more than one way to ensure welfare of their livestock. Inthe World Organization for Animal Health OIE approved new production guidelines for beef cattle production, aimed at improving the health and welfare of beef cattle globally Chapter 7. As a member of the OIE, Canada is committed to these guidelines, and the Code Development Committee has kept them in mind during the revision of this Code of Practice 1.
This Code pertains to cattle of all ages in beef production. Where special provisions for cattle under six months apply, the word calf has been used. This Code applies to male and female cattle being raised for their meat. It does not apply to associated industries e. However, cattle from other sectors, when brought into a beef production operation, are subject to this Code.
Beef cattle in Canada are housed in a variety of ways depending on age, size, and reproductive state. Systems may include range conditions, fields, corrals or yards, indoor pens or stalls. Treed areas or geographical features such as coulees can provide shelter from wind and sun 2.
Cattle must have access to areas, either natural or man-made, that provide relief from weather that is likely to create a serious risk to their welfare. Promptly assist individual cattle showing s of not coping with adverse weather see Sections 1. Cattle are generally able to tolerate low temperatures better than high temperatures. Extreme heat is generally more stressful to cattle early in the summer season before they have had a chance to acclimate to the increased temperatures 3. Cattle are at risk of heat stress when combined temperature and humidity exceed a Humidex value of However, factors such as shade, air movement and length of exposure all influence the impact of high Humidex values on cattle 3.
Heat stress can lead to reductions in feed intake, weight gain, reproductive efficiency and milk production. Severe heat stress may result in illness and death 7. Although cattle can generally tolerate colder temperatures if acclimatized, wet cattle especially newborn calvescattle in poor body condition, and cattle fed inadequate energy are less able to cope with cold temperatures 3.
Cattle require additional feed resources during cold weather 8. The Canadian beef industry comprises the cow-calf, backgrounder and feedlot sectors. Even though the areas involved may be large, facilities for pastured or range cattle still require monitoring and maintenance.
It is beyond the scope of this Code to describe all shelter and housing facilities used in beef cattle production. Individuals requiring further details should refer to local sources of information, such as universities, agricultural and environmental ministries, producer organizations, and experienced beef producers 9 see Appendix G.
All beef operations must have access to equipment or facilities for the safe handling, restraint, treatment, segregation, loading, and unloading of cattle. De or manage indoor and outdoor cattle facilities to provide well-drained, comfortable resting areas. Provide traction in handling areas to minimize cattle slips and falls. All cattle in a group must have sufficient space to adopt normal resting postures at the same time.
Cattle kept in groups must be able to move freely around the pen and access feed and water. Stocking density must be managed such that weight gain and duration of time spent lying is not adversely affected by crowding. Provide cattle housed indoors that do not have access to natural light with supplementary lighting to allow natural behaviour patterns and monitoring of the cattle. Beef cows typically calve outside. If calving occurs during periods of extremely cold weather, sheltered, bedded calving areas natural or constructed can protect the cow and calf during this vulnerable time 3.
Cows typically separate themselves from the rest of the herd as calving approaches. Isolating a calving cow or a cow-calf pair in an individual pen may benefit the cow and the calf if intervention is required. Newborn calves are susceptible to disease, so calving facilities should be deed and maintained to minimize disease transmission. In particular, calf scours can be a problem, especially in confined calving areas, which can become progressively more contaminated as the calving season progresses.
The risk of scours is reduced by maintaining dry conditions and preventing contact with infected cattle. Provide an environment that is safe and clean for calving and that promotes calf survival. Cattle that are not fed adequately will lose body condition, will not perform to their capacity, and are more likely to have reduced immune function s that cattle are not able to access sufficient feed or water include increased vocalizing, roaming, and breaking through fences.
Ideal body condition scores will vary depending upon stage of production Table 2. Body condition scoring also allows producers to optimize the utilization of feed resources and animal productivity. Be aware that body condition scores are most applicable to mature cattle and may be of little use for cattle under one year of age. Note that the cause of poor body condition is not always nutritional. Feeding space required depends on type of feed, feeding frequency, amount of feed, presence of horned cattle, animal size, and group size.
Increased animal density in the pen increases competition among cattle for access to feed, water and resting areas. Reduced space per animal at the feed bunk also increases competitive interactions among cattle, reduces bunk attendance times, and increases breeding season 4.6 codes time spent waiting for access to feed. This might not cause problems for dominant cattle, but it does directly affect subordinate animals, and can result in uneven feed intakes and reduced growth.
Guidance on minimizing diseases associated with high-energy feeding is provided in Section 3. Table 2. Monitor cattle behaviour, performance, body condition score and health on an ongoing basis and adjust the feeding program accordingly. Ensure cattle have access to feed of adequate quality and quantity to fulfill their nutritional needs at all times, and maintain proper body condition, taking into factors such as: age, frame size, reproductive status, health status, level of production, breeding season 4.6 codes and weather.
Take prompt corrective action to improve the body condition score of cattle with a score of 2 or less out of 5. Take steps to prevent exposure of cattle to toxins such as lead batteries, fertilizer, treated seed, antifreeze, nitrates and to avoid feed with adverse physical qualities that could cause injury or limit intake. Cattle need access to water of adequate quality and quantity to fulfill their physiological needs. Water availability and quality are extremely important for cattle health and productivity. Beef cattle will drink between L gal per day Water quality and palatability affect water consumption.Breeding season 4.6 codes
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