Canada to improve BSE status

Canada has applied for negligible risk status at the OIE, the world animal health organization, and could obtain it 18 years after the first case of BSE devastated the beef industry. Canadian Cattlemen’s Association general manager David Moss told the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association’s annual general meeting that the application was submitted before the July […] Read more

In lieu of a 2021 conference, the groups said they plan to hold a series of smaller business meetings and

Alberta Beef Industry Conference postponed

Another annual gathering of cattle and beef producers has been postponed because of the pandemic. The Alberta Beef Industry Conference, previously planned for March 2021, has been postponed to March 2022. The 2020 meeting was held last March, just before COVID-19 postponements and cancellations began. The event typically involves several cattle and beef organizations including […] Read more

At this point, True North isn't permitted to reveal the customer's name. However, the beef packer is starting a grass-fed program from scratch to satisfy the client's needs, so it's likely a company that's recognizable to Canadians. | File photo

Man. company looking for grass-fed beef

Duane Vaags is looking for grass-fed cattle — everywhere and anywhere he can find them. Vaags started a new job this fall, working as the grass-fed beef program auditor for True North Foods, a federally licensed packing plant in Carman, Man. Recently, a major buyer approached True North’s owner, Calvin Vaags, with a request. “The […] Read more


The Fraser Health public health department said Oct. 18 that 13 employees at the plant tested positive. | Google Maps photo

COVID reported at B.C. meat plant

An outbreak of COVID-19 has been reported at the J & L Beef Ltd. meat processing facility in Surrey, B.C. The Fraser Health public health department said Oct. 18 that 13 employees at the plant tested positive. It became aware of a potential outbreak after one employee tested positive Oct. 8, and found evidence of […] Read more

The Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association is hosting four online presentations on Thursday nights in November. | Screencap via mfga.net

Sessions focus on holistic ag

Ranchers and other producers can participate in a free regenerative agriculture conference next month. The Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association was planning to hold its Regen Ag conference in Brandon this November, but COVID-19 has made that impossible. The farm group, like many others, has adjusted to the pandemic and is hosting four online presentations […] Read more


Mariia Tokareva walks behind a sow that has been let out of a stall as part of a University of Saskatchewan experiment. Tokareva, a PhD. student, and other researchers wanted to know if sows benefit from being let out of their stalls for periodic exercise. | Submitted photo

Sow exercise benefits found lacking

Researchers wanted to know if a middle ground solution between stalls and open housing was a reasonable option

Pregnant sows have an intrinsic desire to leave their stalls, say swine health experts at the University of Saskatchewan. But giving sows periodic freedom to exit the stall and move about the barn doesn’t significantly improve the lives or welfare of the animals. “We were able to conclude that there is a level of motivation […] Read more

Subsidies help drive divergence in hog herds

Report says U.S. support allows expansion there to continue while cramping Canadian farmers’ ability to be profitable

One pig herd has stagnated. One has greatly expanded. What’s behind the different growth rates of the Canadian and American herds? American subsidies have a lot to do with it, argue Al Mussell and Douglas Hedley of Agri-Food Economic Systems, a Guelph, Ont., analytical firm. Subsidies south of the border have allowed American farmers to […] Read more

Researchers suspect that Potomac fever found in Alberta horses is caused by a bacteria for which veterinarians aren’t testing.  |Jeannette Greaves photo

Horse illness raises questions of exact bacterial cause

Potomac fever in horses can cause severe diarrhea, high temperatures, abortion of fetuses, lethargy and anorexia

Scientists are investigating whether a species of bacteria shown to cause symptoms similar to Potomac fever in horses is present in Alberta. It raises the possibility of extra biosecurity and isolation requirements, which could impact the owners of affected horses, said a researcher. “We have a lot of horses that come in that we think […] Read more


Implants are a way of repartitioning an animal’s hormones, and zero withdrawal regulations make the meat safe to eat.  |  File photo

Beef industry faces challenges but also scores successes

Cattle producers have always been resilient and the last few years have seen many new developments. The beef code of practice has highlighted animal care and many sections stress the need for painkillers or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for procedures such as castration, brandings or dehornings. There are many products used to reduce pain and […] Read more

Feed rule changes now open for comment

Changes to federal feed regulations are on their way and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has opened its plans to public comment until Nov. 15. The Feed Regulatory Modernization document gives an overview of proposed changes and their potential economic impacts. The last comprehensive review of the feed regulations occurred in 1983. Animal feed stakeholders […] Read more