Cull dairy cows often need to get to a slaughter facility in a timely manner. Speaking at the 2011 American Meat Institute Animal Care & Handling meeting in Kansas City, Mo., Dr. Kurt Vogel said to increase welfare of these cows and avoid cows that need to be euthanized, producers, veterinarians and the slaughter facilities need to identify areas where better management can facilitate increased cull cow welfare.
How can we help? Vogel recommended to:
- Develop a fast track for high risk cows to reach slaughter quickly and safety.
- Developed a mechanism to offer feedback to the farm of origin on the condition of the cow, especially for those cows that are condemned or euthanized on the truck.
- Keep a tight unloading schedule. Do not let cows stand on the trucks.
- In the summer keep trucks moving.
“It’s a continuum of care,” Vogel said. “Welfare of cull dairy cattle spans from the dairy to the packing plant, and all points in between. We must hold each other accountable for good stewardship.”