Hog facility uses undercover video as training tool

An undercover video capturing poor treatment of pigs at a Red Deer assembly yard will be used as an employee training tool, says the chair of Western Hog Exchange. Brent Moen said staff and employees would go through the video frame by frame to help learn how to better handle hogs at the assembly yard. […] Read more

Would your farm portray a positive image on YouTube?

An animal rights group recently released a video taken with a hidden camera on a dairy farm in New Mexico. The images from Mercy for Animals showed workers beating cows with chains, using electric prods on the genitals of cattle and dragging cattle that couldn’t walk behind a tractor. The images were shown on every […] Read more

Dairy sets up cameras in wake of abuse

Chilliwack Cattle Sales apologetic | Mercy for Animals Canada wants video to air live on the internet

Video cameras were installed at Canada’s largest dairy last week after an undercover video revealed cows being beaten and abused by milking parlour workers. Eight employees of Chilliwack Cattle Sales were fired days after Mercy for Animals Canada released video footage taken at the farm during the month of May. Now the dairy operation has […] Read more

Breeding for productivity or animal welfare?

Ethical questions also an issue | Cattle scientist says producers may have to consider welfare in selecting genetic traits

CALGARY — Should animal welfare trump productivity when it comes to trait selection in livestock? Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein says yes. Speaking at an April 23 Genome Alberta meeting, the Agriculture Canada beef cattle welfare research scientist said knowledge of genomics allows breeders to select for specific productivity traits, such as carcass quality, feed conversion and […] Read more

Pain mitigation difficult without drugs

No approved products | Although analgesics have proven beneficial, the USDA still questions their safety

OMAHA, Neb. — New livestock codes of practice recommend pain relief for castration and tail docking, but few approved products are available. More pain relief medications are likely to be approved in the future, but in the meantime veterinarians may have to rely on non steroidal anti inflammatories (NSAIDS) or extra label use. “If you […] Read more

Animal welfare issue debated incorrectly: vet

EDMONTON — Livestock producers should get rid of their stock answers when dealing with animal welfare problems, says a veterinarian specializing in dealing with animal welfare issues. Dr. Tim Blackwell said livestock producers are professionals and should own their problems rather than make excuses. “Animal welfare is about doing the right thing. If you are […] Read more

Don’t let farm be fodder for activist video

Identify vulnerabilities | Animal activists are out to make farmers look bad, so show them a positive picture, says expert

EDMONTON — Farmers should not pretend that animal rights activists don’t exist, says the head of an animal agriculture organization. Instead, they should farm like they are on YouTube. Kay Johnson Smith, president of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, said the goal of animal rights groups is to eliminate animal agriculture. Consumers want what livestock farmers […] Read more

Distressed herd arrives at sale

PONOKA, Alta. — The new manager of the Tsuu T’ina Nation’s bison herd is apologizing for the highly stressed, stunted and parasite-infested animals that were recently brought to a commercial bison sale. James McGuiness said he was embarrassed by the 130 bison brought to the Vold Jones Vold Auction bison sale March 15, which followed […] Read more

Codes of practice must be adhered to, say officials

Industry image | With critics keeping a watchful eye, producers must pay attention to high welfare standards

RED DEER — Canadian agriculture is facing increasing pressure from animal rights activist groups that are well funded and prepared to go public with their protests. However, activists are not going to change their minds about animal care, and no changes will ever be enough, said Geraldine Auston of the Ag and Food Exchange in […] Read more

Not all animal research created equal

I recently adopted two cats from a humane society. Part of the process involved signing a declaration form that included the promise to seek veterinary care if the cats become ill and not let them roam outside. What caught me off guard was the promise to not involve the cat in “live animal research.” This […] Read more