Symposium Shines Light on Humane Cattle Practices

MANHATTAN, US - Humane treatment of cattle is important in the livestock industry because it is not only the right thing to do, it positively impacts the bottom line.
calendar icon 20 May 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

That's the word from veterinarian Dr. Dan Thomson, who leads Kansas State University's Beef Cattle Institute. The institute is attracting worldwide attention for its International Beef Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare, offered by the Beef Cattle Institute May 28-30 at K-State. A pre-symposium session will be offered May 28 on cattle welfare through proper cattle handling.

"With this symposium, we want people have a better understanding of beef cattle welfare guidelines from around the world"
Veterinarian Dr. Dan Thomson

"With this symposium, we want people have a better understanding of beef cattle welfare guidelines from around the world," Thomson said. "We are very excited about the diverse group of registrants."

"People in the world need to understand there is a difference between welfare and abuse," Thomson said. "No one is in favor of abusing animals. People need to understand that television and animal rights groups focus on abuse. Animal welfare is animal husbandry. Abusive behavior toward animals is not the norm and should not be tolerated.

"No one cares about their cattle more than the person who gets up at 5 a.m. to care for them," Thomson said. "The better the welfare or husbandry of cattle, the better they perform." Before joining the K-State faculty, Thomson worked in the livestock industry.

The symposium is an effort to bring researchers together with producers.

The industry/academia interface is essential for both groups to move forward in the interest of the beef industry, Thomson said. The mission of this symposium is to understand the strides that have been made by the beef industry for the welfare of cattle and discuss new areas of opportunity for improvement.

More than 300 people are registered to attend the event and more are signed up for the Webinar that will broadcast the symposium over the Internet. Scientists, cattle producers and cattle association representatives from many countries are participating. All groups are coming together to look at cattle industry best practices, Thomson said.

A presentation on cattle welfare through proper cattle handling will highlight concepts that empower caregivers in the beef industry to create positive relationships with cattle, Thomson said. The presentation and demonstration will include video footage and live cattle interaction in an arena complete with processing facilities.

Herd health checks, proper nutrition and effective handling will improve the cattle industry for all, Thomson said.

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