Animal Health and Well-being

Indicator Definition

The cumulative effects of cattle health, nutrition, care and comfort.

Why is this indicator important to the livestock auction market sector?

Livestock auction markets have a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure, to the best of their ability, the health and well-being of the livestock in their care.

Metric

Are employees trained and auction-specific beef quality assurance (BQA) principles being implemented at the auction market?

Why did USRSB choose this metric?

Increased adoption and implementation of BQA principles as relevant to auction specific settings, training all employees in their area(s) of responsibility(ies), conducting a BQA assessment to inform and allow change or implementation of additional BQA principles, and encouraging cattle transporters to become BQA certified can all have significant positive effects on improving animal health and well-being.

Additionally, BQA was developed by veterinarians, industry representatives, animal scientists and extension professionals and it is consistent with the World Organization for Animal Health code that provides global standards for animal well-being and beef cattle production systems.

Desired Outcomes

Focusing on BQA implementation, through the Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) guide, at livestock auction markets in the U.S. can have significant positive effects on improving animal health and well-being sustainability outcomes including:

  • Ensured proper care and handling of all animals
  • Supported outcome of healthy, low stressed animals
  • Increased employee safety and well-being

Why do these outcomes matter?

The BQA program and its accompanying guidelines cover the major areas of animal nutrition, health, care and handling. Adoption of these scientifically based practices allow the beef supply chain to produce healthier, lower stressed animals, which has a significant impact on the animal health and well-being sustainability indicator.

Success Criteria

Increase the number of livestock auction market employees trained in BQA and LMA principles being implemented.

How does this metric continuously improve beef sustainability?

Focusing on the implementation of BQA principles at livestock auction markets in the U.S. can have significant positive effects on improving animal health and well-being.

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