Animal Care / Food Safety

Highest standards of animal care & health

Animal welfare is a priority from day one. All cattle are individually identified upon entry to our feedlots and their history is recorded and tracked from arrival to slaughter using a fully computerized individual animal health management software program.

European auditors have recognized our computerized health program, with documented health procedures, as one of the best in the world. This is the main reason why our feedlots are routinely selected by CFIA as the feedlot of choice for international audits of Canadian feedlot production systems. We have successfully completed an EU audit for the EU high-quality beef program, in which we participated for three years. Recently we successfully completed an audit for the Taiwanese delegation of veterinarians, nutritionists and government staff.

We expect strict adherence by all staff to federal and provincial regulations regarding animal health and food safety, as well as to our veterinarian’s standardized and documented health operating procedures and protocols to ensure the health and welfare of all animals under our care. Adhere to veterinary written and monitored procedures for immunizing and treating cattle.

Veterinarian Oversight

Herd health and export programs include staff training and standardized operating procedures developed and monitored by our consulting veterinarian, Dr. Joyce Van Donkersgoed, DVM, MVS. Dr. Van Donkersgoed is a well-recognized Canadian feedlot practitioner and researcher in advanced bovine medicine and epidemiology.

She has been a consultant to the National and Alberta Cattle Feeders Association and Canadian Cattlemen’s Association/Canada Beef for many years, helping the industry develop leading edge production programs (Quality Starts Here/Verified Beef Production, Alberta’s Environmental Farm Plan) and federal CFIA import and export programs that are science based, practically applicable on farm, and support international market access e.g. CFIA’s US Restricted and Terminal Feeder Programs and the EU Hormone-Free Program. We utilize these industry programs in our daily operations.

Dr. Joyce Van Donkersgoed named as the 2017 Metacam® 20* Bovine Welfare Award winner | Boehringer-Ingelheim
Our production protocols conform to those of many value chains and exceed the requirements of the national beef on-farm food safety program Verified Beef Production, which Dr. Van Donkersgoed originally developed for The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

September 14, 2016: https://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/2016/09/14/canadian-feedlot-animal-care-assessment-part-2/

Nutrition

Our feeding program is developed and monitored by Dr. Scott Schake (PHD, PAS) and Dr. Aaron Grant (PHD, PAS) from Nutrition Service Associates, who provide leading edge nutritional consulting services and training to feedlots in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Quality Control

Outcome measures such as morbidity, mortality, railers, and live animal and carcass performance are tracked and reviewed regularly.

This is coupled with in-house leading edge research to continually identify areas for improvement based on objective data and sound science. Our livestock transporters are trained and certified under the national Certified Livestock Transport (CLT) program. Our veterinarian, Dr. Van Donkersgoed, DVM, MVS and Rick Sincennes (Van Raay Paskal Farms) are trainers for CLT.

Daily monitoring procedures help to ensure that day-to-day operations are being performed to the highest standards, to guarantee safety for our employees and a safe high quality end product.

We practice low stress cattle handling training and use these principles in handling cattle in our daily operations. Commit to regular internal reviews of our cattle handling practices in addition to a yearly review and third party audit by Dr. Lynn Locatelli DVM, who teaches and uses her techniques, as well as the renowned cattle handling principles of Bud Williams.