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Posts Tagged ‘BQA’

Animal care is the number 1 priority on nearly all farms and ranches around the country.  It sickens and saddens me that I had to use the word, “nearly” in that sentence.  Once again, there is an animal owner and their employees who do not uphold the same animal welfare standards as everyone I know personally; and, has made their way to the limelight casting a negative image for dairy calf farms all around the country.

In one article I read this morning, the calf ranch owner was quoted as taking full responsibility for the actions of the employees and had terminated those employees.  That is great, but, where was the oversight and direction for these employees prior to and during the undercover investigation?  We all have to take responsibility to make sure proper practices are being followed on our own farms and ranches at all times.

My family has been following Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) practices for as long as the program has been around.  If we have a neighbor helping work with the cattle, and they seem to have a different idea as to how things should be done, we quickly and thoroughly teach them the way we want them to proceed.  That “correct way” may apply to giving injections, coaxing animals in a given direction, putting in ear tags, giving pills, and so on. 

The farmers and ranchers I know truly care about the health and well-being of the animals they raise.  Yes, it is true, healthier animals are more productive animals.  And yes, it is true, we are in it to earn a living.  However, there comes a point, sometimes, when it isn’t about money or even science, but it’s about just doing the right thing.  Whether it’s putting down an animal that is suffering so horribly it isn’t going to survive or nursing one back to health or transporting animals to be harvested, it all is done with the utmost respect and appreciation for the animal and it’s life.

If you are a fellow producer reading this, I urge you to be proactive in making sure your farm and all those you know are using the best possible practices for handling animals.  If you are not a livestock owner, please be assured that there are hundreds of thousands of livestock owners who take very good care of their animals and they are just as frustrated as me when they find out there is a “bad one” out there.

Now, with that off of my chest….I will certainly try to write something much more fun tonight.  Thanks for reading and have a good afternoon.

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