Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - 82

FROM THE CORRAL

Coming to an agreement
There is a trend in animal welfare
guidelines where many stakeholders
are starting to agree on important
points. It needs to be made very clear
that certain egregious practices are
never acceptable. The US Department
of Agriculture's Food Safety and
Inspection Service was one of the
first agencies to start using the term,
" egregious. " The North American Meat
Institute's (NAMI) Recommended
Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit
Guide has a section titled " Willful
Acts of Abuse/Egregious Acts. " Most
people in the meat packing industry are
familiar with these guidelines.
Some examples of egregious acts
are dragging a conscious animal,
intentionally applying prods to sensitive
parts of the animal or beating animals.
If any egregious acts are observed,
the plant will fail a welfare audit. For
buyers who are managing their meat
supply chains, there is a need for clear
guidance on when a supplier can either
be immediately delisted or suspended.
The producer groups are now accepting
this concept. Buyers are now auditing
more and more farms.
There are now two audit tools
for assessing animal welfare at cattle
feedlots. They are the Canadian Feedlot

Animal Care Assessment Program
and the US Cattle Industry Feedyard
Audit. Both audit tools are certified
by the Professional Animal Auditor
Certification Organization (PAACO).
These auditing tools also make
it very clear that " Willful Acts of
Abuse " are never acceptable and will
result in a failed audit. The audits
contain lists that are similar to NAMI's
guidelines with a few added items.
The additional items are not related to
handling or moving animals. Some of
them are abdominal surgery, such as
spaying a heifer without an anesthetic,
euthanasia methods that are not
approved, or shipping unfit cattle.
Both feedlot audit tools use objective
outcome based numerical scoring to
assess cattle handling. It is similar
to handling scoring in Beef Quality
Assurance guidelines. Other measures
in both audits are lameness and mud
scoring. They also have requirements for
record keeping, training of employees,
animal health protocols, newborn calf
care and emergency action plans.

EGREGIOUS NEGLECT
Both audits have a section labeled
" Egregious Acts of Neglect. " Acts of
abuse have to be willful where a person
deliberately treats an animal badly. In
both the Canadian and US feedyard
audits, the audit is failed if an egregious
act of neglect is observed.
Neglect does not have to be willful.
Some of the items under Egregious

Acts of Neglect are: failure to perform
timely euthanasia of critically ill/
distressed animals; failure to supply
continuous water availability in the
home pens and; failing to assist a heifer
that is calving or failing to provide
feed and water to a downed nonambulatory animal.
Most of the items in either the
Egregious Acts of Abuse or Egregious
Neglect sections are things the public
would be very concerned about if
they toured a feedlot or saw pictures
taken with a phone at a livestock
handling facility. Remember, almost
everybody has an instant video camera
in their pocket.
All segments of the industry
should agree that deliberate cruelty or
neglect of animals is never acceptable.
Managers of livestock operations need
to have the mindset that abuse and
neglect are always wrong.
T E M P L E G R A N D I N | m e a t p o u l t r y @ s o s l a n d .c o m

82

MEAT+ POULTRY | 02.21 | www.meatpoultry.com

dusanpetkovic1 - stock.adobe.com

All segments of the industry should
agree that deliberate cruelty or neglect
of animals is never acceptable.


http://stock.adobe.com http://www.meatpoultry.com

Meat+Poultry - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat+Poultry - February 2021

Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - 1
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Meat+Poultry - February 2021 - vdg - 1
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