I recently asked Thomson some additional questions about his experience in
Bovine Veterinarian: Because each country has diverse cattle raising systems, can there really be one set of guidelines on welfare for the raising of cattle?
Dan Thomson: Animal welfare or well-being is animal husbandry. It is very complicated and I think there is as much diversity within countries as there is between them in how cattle are raised. Therefore, when you look at the guidelines we developed, you will see more generalities about the actual production practices and more specifics on the outcome measurements. Basically, you know your land, cattle and climate better than people outside your industry or those inside your industry from different areas. The universal variables are measurements such as body condition score, clinical signs, morbidity, mortality and performance. If you have healthy, productive cattle with good physical appearance, their well-being is probably pretty good.
|Dan Thomson, DVM, PhD proves he was in Paris!|
BV: Will it be an easy or a hard sell next year to the OIE to accept these guidelines?
Thomson: The OIE initiated the project. Most countries are wanting to get some sort of definition or boundaries by people with experience in cattle rearing than to wait for them to be developed by people not involved with beef cattle. I don't see there being many issues with this document being accepted.
BV: Will there be anything
BV: What does it mean in a global sense that
Thomson: We have a very progressive beef industry in the
Thanks, Dan, for doing such a good job representing the
Geni Wren, Editor
Bovine Veterinarian Magazine