Practice Tips: Culling/transporting dairy animals

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The National Milk Producers Federation along with Dairy Management Inc. and the American Association of Bovine Practitioners have available an educational poster, “Top 10 Considerations for Culling and Transporting Dairy Animals to a Packing or Processing Facility,” for dairy producers that is printed in English and Spanish.

Encourage your clients to use these parameters when considering animals for culling and transport:

  • Do not move non-ambulatory animals to market under any circumstances.
  • Make the decision to treat, to cull, or to euthanize animals promptly. Sick and injured animals should be segregated from the herd.
  • Delay transport of an animal that appears to be exhausted or dehydrated until the animal is rested, fed and rehydrated.
  • Milk all cows that are still lactating just prior to transporting to a packing or processing facility.
  • Use a transportation company that is knowledgeable about your animal care expectations and provides for the safety and comfort of the animals during transport.
  • Do not transport animals to a packing or processing facility until all proper treatment withdrawal times have been followed.
  • Do not transport animals with a poor body condition, generally a Body Condition Score of less than 2 (1–5 scale).
  • Do not transport animals that require mechanical assistance to rise and are reluctant or unable to walk, except for veterinary treatment. When using any handling device, abuse must not be tolerated.
  • Do not transport animals with bone fractures of the limbs or injuries to the spine. Animals with a recent fracture unrelated to mobility should be culled and transported directly to a packing or processing facility.
  • Do not transport animals with conditions that will not pass pre-slaughter inspection at a packing or processing facility. If unsure, consult with your veterinarian before transporting an animal to a packing or processing facility.

A copy of the illustrated poster can be requested by calling 703-224-1381 or sending an e-mail request to poster@nmpf.org. A copy of the poster can also be viewed at www.nmpf.org



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