Animal Health and Well-being

Indicator Definition

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

Why is this indicator important to the feedyard sector?

Feedyards have a responsibility to ensure, to the best of their ability, the health and well-being of the livestock in their care.

Metric

Are feedyard employees trained in beef quality assurance (BQA) principles and are these principles implemented at the feedyard?

Why did we choose this metric?

The BQA Program was developed by veterinarians, industry representatives, animal scientists and extension professionals and it is consistent with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) code that provides global standards for animal well-being and beef cattle production systems. The BQA Program also includes guidelines on antibiotic stewardship. A properly developed and implemented BQA Program (including employee training) helps ensure proper care and handling of all animals.

Desired Outcome

The BQA Program and its accompanying guidelines cover the major areas of animal nutrition, health, care and handling. Adoption of these scientifically based practices allows the beef value chain to:

  • Produce healthier, lower stressed animals
  • Create a significant positive impact on the animal health and well-being sustainability indicator outcomes

Why do these outcomes matter?

The BQA program and its accompanying guidelines cover the major areas of animal nutrition, health, care and handling. Adaption 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 feedyard employees trained in BQA and BQA principles being implemented at the feedyard.

How does this metric continuously improve beef sustainability?

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

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