Meristem Land and Science: Driving Progress in Sustainability

NewStream Farm Animal Care, Volume 1, Edition 21

Pain issue an opportunity for proactive industry response

November 14, 2013

Dr. Ed Pajor serves as part of the animal care team at Calgary Stampede

Waiting for more research alone isn't the answer, says Dr. Ed Pajor

It's seems every few months there are more case studies that emerge on why agriculture needs to become more proactive in managing animal welfare issues.

The recent W5 investigative report, "Behind the barn door," is one high profile example that hits home for Canadian livestock industries. The often highly emotional and polarizing debate around gestation stalls is another.

Scanning the environment, another issue that is clearly rising in profile is pain management.

Click here to read the complete feature article.

Insider's view: Perspective on pain

November 14, 2013

"Science is important but it doesn't tell us what to do," says Dr. Ed Pajor.

Understanding and anticipating the changes needed

There's no reason for delay in taking charge of the pain issue, says Dr. Ed Pajor of the University of Calgary.

"If you think about some of the other issues that we've been dealing with in the farm animal community, such as gestation stalls, they are relatively complex. People don't really understand the full context of why stalls are used and the implications of making changes. Yet look at the influence that the concern over this has created in society - it has created an environment where industry is changing practices under pressure. By comparison, it's going to be very easy to have a conversation about animal pain and pain mitigation. The pressure can rise that much more quickly."

New options emerging

Today it's already clear that animal pain is an important societal concern and the focus is broadening from pets to farm animals. New options for measuring and mitigating pain in farm animals related to procedures such as castration, dehorning and others, are not only possible but increasingly practical. While more research is needed on a number of fronts, "that doesn't mean that we should do nothing now," says Pajor.

Click here to read the complete feature article.

Flip-flopping on vegetarianism

November 14, 2013

Study shows students going 'no meat' after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma shift back after one year

One element driving the societal expectations around farm animal care that doesn't often get a lot of attention is the role of human psychology and the factors related to this that shape attitudes and behaviors on food consumption and the food supply.

From "Fast-Food Nation" to "Food Inc.," there's no question that no matter how controversial or debated, popular movies and books portraying a dark side to the food supply make an impact on the mindset of consumers. But an important question is whether or not these shifts have staying power.

Click here to read the full story.

LCC 2014 Speaker Spotlight

November 14, 2013

Tim Blackwell

Animal Health & Welfare: The Next Evolution

Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) is partnering with the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association to host the 2014 Annual Livestock Care Conference (LCC), held March 26th and 27th in Edmonton, Alberta. See agenda and registration information here.

Leading up to the 2014 LCC, NewStream Farm Animal Care will be featuring information on the agenda and speakers. First up in this edition is Dr. Tim Blackwell, lead veterinarian in disease prevention with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development.

Click here to read the full story.

What's Canada's blueprint to the future?

November 14, 2013

Ryder Lee

Three top ideas from three farm animal care leaders

The pathway to Canada's future in farm animal care is being shaped by a number of different voices from across the value chain and among the different stakeholder groups involved.

Here's a sampling of three of the latest viewpoints from three key industry spokespeople across the country:

  • Ryder Lee on the benefit of updated Codes
  • Crystal Mackay on bridging the gap between farmers and consumers
  • Dan Weary on Canada's potential

Click here to read the full story.


November 14, 2013

Quick takes on key activity and what's coming, from NewStream editors

There is no shortage of top-flight meetings and events across Canada covering farm animal care. Several have been featured in the most recent NewStream editions and more are on the way in the coming months, including these two:

Animal welfare key session at Banff Pork Seminar

Photo credit: Alberta Pork

With a theme of "Today's challenges, tomorrow's opportunities" the first plenary session at the 43rd Banff Pork Seminar features two speakers looking at social pressure and animal care. "The impact of social pressure in the marketplace" is addressed by Dallas Hockman, vice-president of industry relations for the National Pork Producers in the U.S.

"The dignity of raising animals for food" is speaker Dr. Nelson Kloosterman's topic. He is executive director and ethics consultant for Worldview Resources International, a service organization committed to understanding and applying a religious worldview to responsible living in a global culture.

There are also sessions on the latest on the animal care Code of Practice and advocating for pork production. Program details are at www.banffpork.ca.

FACS AGM covers fence lines to corporate boardrooms

"Tactics and triumphs" is the theme for the 2013 Fence Lines to Corporate Boardrooms conference hosted by the Farm Animal Care Council of Saskatchewan, Dec. 4-5, in Saskatoon.

Highlights on tap include:

  • A look inside the Subway restaurant chain and how animal care fits in that value chain with Elizabeth Stewart, Marketing Director at Subway Franchise World Headquarters
  • Alice Johnson, VP Food Safety and Animal Care for Butterball, LLC. talks on undercover investigations - what to consider, reaction and pro-action
  • A slate of strong speakers on how farmers dealt with environmental extremists. U.S. farmer Greg Peterson on how he parlayed social media into a major ag advocacy opportunity
  • And Florian Possberg, well known producer and industry player talks balancing activist pressures, consumer wants and politics with producer reality

Full information is available at www.facs.sk.ca.




McDonald's Verified Sustainable Beef Pilot final report available

How to load, how to lead

New progress on animal care codes of practice

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: June 2, 2016

Building trust through transportation technology

Can genomics revolutionize animal health?

New knowledge for an animal care-driven world

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: March 17, 2016

Top 10 popular stories of the past year

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: January 21, 2016

Soil Health rises on the sustainability landscape

Data: The big opportunity for beef improvement

Insights from Dr. David Fraser

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: December 18, 2015

Agriculture steps up its game in crisis preparedness

Crisis preparedness 101: Rapid fire tips

Taking the Longview

New Code nears the finish line

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: November 26, 2015

'Care' crosses over

Four to watch

What beef producers are asking about VBP+

Rubber hits the road on new Code

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: September 24, 2015

The new world of 'sustainable beef'

Inside the grocery game

Stampede through different lenses

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: July 16, 2015

Walmart makes waves

Tipping points, trends and the FDA mindset

Tipping points, trends and the FDA mindset

Young dairy farmers talk welfare

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: June 4, 2015

New frontiers take shape in farm animal care

The next big challenge: Professionalizing animal agriculture

Buzzworthy: Three main "take home" messages

Views from the frontlines

#KeepingItReal: Building bridges in 140 or less

Heart of a farmer

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: April 2, 2015

The fallout from California's 'Prop 2'

Drivers of care: Building a winner

New Codes work underway

A&W marches ahead with new chicken focus

Global view: The politics of hidden videos

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: March 12, 2015

Banff Pork Seminar digs deeper on welfare issue

Trust factor rises as lynchpin to swine industry future

Welfare won't derail positive pork outlook

More from Banff

Headwaters: Snapshots of new developments

Posted: January 29, 2015