Proper handling of dairy animals during transport promotes safety and animal well-being and contributes to beef quality.
During the summer months, maximize cattle comfort during transit, especially during extended stops.
According to a Canadian study, the temperature inside compartments of a cattle trailer was greater during stationary periods than during movement and greater at animal level versus the ceiling of the trailer. Change in core body temperatures also was greater during stationary periods.
The Dairy Animal Care & Quality Assurance (DACQA) program urges you to take these precautions during transit:
- Provide appropriate ventilation and/or protection from extreme weather conditions.
- Schedule loading and unloading times to minimize the amount of time animals spend in the trailer.
- During long-haul transit, stop occasionally to ensure cattle are well dispersed and still standing, and observe appropriate guidelines and regulations for long-haul transit.
- Evaluate animals for illness prior to loading and during long-haul transit.
- Do not load animals that are unfit for transport (i.e. borderline non-ambulatory/downer animals).
- Check for signs of stress and adjust stocking density to accommodate tired or stressed animals.
- Plan delivery schedules to minimize the number of stops made, and follow the schedule closely.
Visit www.animalcaretraining.org to learn more about the certification program.
DACQA is a voluntary, national certification program intended to enhance and demonstrate quality animal care practices, which assure food safety, quality and value as well as enhance consumer confidence in the milk and beef products that are harvested from cattle on America’s dairy farms.
Source: Beef Checkoff