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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 27 January 2016

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Wednesday 27th January 2016.
Alice Mitchell - TheBeefSite Editor

Alice Mitchell

MSD Animal Health

New Code of Practice Requires Pain Control in Cattle Over Nine Months 

As of January 1, Canadian cattle producers are now expected to use pain control, in consultation with a veterinarian, when they de-horn or castrate animals older than nine months.

This new rule follows changes to the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle which requires beef producers to provide pain control during painful procedures such as castration and dehorning.

It’s something that most producers are already doing, said Dr John Campbell, of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, who also served on the science advisory board for the new Code of Practice.

“Research has shown there’s a lot less stress, and a lot less pain when painful procedures are done at an early age. So the first aim is to do it early, which most producers are doing, and then to phase in pain control as well.” 

The Code of Practice revisions have been agreed upon up by scientists, industry representatives and the public about how we should be practising,” said Dr Campbell.

“They are about animal welfare and public perception of painful procedures, and it’s just another way of showing to the public that 99.9 per cent of Canadian beef producers are doing the right thing because they care about their animals.”

In January 2018, the requirement will change to include all cattle castrated older than six months.

In other news, US cattle producer and meat scientist, Dr Wayne Vanderwert, spoke to TheBeefSite about his concerns with beta-agonists on meat quality.

Dr Vanderwert stated that while he has no concerns about beta-agonists from a food safety standpoint, he is concerned about beta-agonists' impact on meat quality.

According to Dr Vanderwert, beta-agonist products tend to increase muscle mass, including adding more connective tissue as well as an increase in collagen content in muscle, resulting in a decline in beef tenderness.

There's a lot of discussion about the economic advantages to using beta-agonists in terms of meat production, but there is also a need to consider the cost of use to the industry, said Dr Vanderwert.

"First, there's reduced palatability, so there's less consumer satisfaction and that costs the industry a lot of money. There's also less consumer confidence in our industry because we tend to use these products and the consumer would rather we didn't," he said.


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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Tackling Cattle Fever Ticks with Vaccines
Despite a successful program to eliminate cattle fever ticks in the US during the first half of the 20th century, these ticks still manage to cross the Mexican border into Texas, writes Sandra Avant.

Global Beef Industry News


Changes to the Canadian Beef Code Require Pain Control for Cattle

   European Union

EU Urged to Address Low Beef Farmer Income
European Feed Industry Sees Poor Outlook for 2016


Agriculture Minister Takes 'No View' Stance on Beef Merger


Philippines to Focus on Livestock, Fisheries Least Affected by El Niño

   United Kingdom

EU ‘Crucial’ for Scottish Farming
NFU Urges Government to Renew Efforts to get Aid to Flood-Hit Farms
Funding Available for Young Farmers
Land Management Essential in Managing Volatility and Food Security
New British Food Unit Aims to Match France, Germany Exports


Armenia Latest Country to Report Foot and Mouth Disease

   New Zealand

NZ Beef, Lamb Export Shipments Rise, but Returns Down


Figures Reveal India Has More Registered Slaughterhouses than Milk Units


Aussie Cattle Farmers Look Forward to Beef Language Reform

   United States

Cattle Outlook: Cattle on Feed Placements Down, Marketings Up
CME: Livestock Futures Market Volatile Again
US Cattlemen Have Beef with President Over Water Rule
CME: Volatility in Livestock Trading as Other World Markets Falter
Meat Scientist Questions Beta-agonists' Impact on Beef Quality
CME: Cattle on Feed Survey Expected to Show Reduced Supply


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