Meristem Land and Science: Driving Progress in Sustainability

NewStream Farm Animal Care, Volume 4, Edition 2

Building trust through transportation technology

March 17, 2016

Hydraulic Lift Deck Trailer

Award-winning features highlight this livestock transport fleet

For many consumers trucks hauling livestock are one of the most visible aspects of livestock production and in many ways a face of animal care for the industry.

In a world that savors transparency like fine chocolate, what goes on behind the scenes in livestock transport is a critical part of industry success. For Steve's Livestock Transport that means new loading technology that adds comfort to animals and people, and a major investment in biosecurity.

New loading technology

The new hydraulic lift deck trailer from Steve's Livestock Transport was designed in conjunction with Wilson Trailer Company of Sioux City, Iowa. The all-aluminum deck system has a powerful hydraulic lift cylinder and stainless steel cable system that raises two full length decks into locked position. It acts as an elevator to lift livestock into different deck levels, which eliminates ramp usage to enter or exit the trailer. All of this reduces animal fatigue, stress and injury during movement and improves meat quality.

The new design has other attributes. It has superior ventilation through the trailer and the common contamination areas are easier to wash out. Biosecurity is enhanced. Heavy duty gates contain and separate loads. These design changes are also physically easier on drivers.

Leading edge transport biosecurity

When Steve's started in business back in 1987, biosecurity was an uncommon word and cleaning transportation equipment a pretty simple process.

Since then, the company has expanded to become the largest commercial livestock transportation fleet in North America.

Click here to read the complete feature article.

Can genomics revolutionize animal health?

March 17, 2016

Dr. Michael Dyck

University of Alberta led swine study tackles next health frontier

If Canada is going to maintain a successful position in the global pork marketplace, swine health and animal care promises to one of the deciding factors. Sustainable production and competitive pricing will be priorities and swine health and welfare.is both a social requirement and necessity for sustainable production.

Porcine health management represents a tremendous opportunity for the application of innovative genomic tools, says Dr. Michael Dyck of the University of Alberta. He was a wrap-up speaker of several leaders who spoke on the developments and potential of genomics at the 2016 Banff Pork Seminar.

One of the most promising developments is a major new study that brings together a significant team to build on what has been accomplished to date and head into new frontiers.

Disease constantly evolves and present new pressures, says Dyck. There is a need to develop genomic tools and production management practices to help protect animals exposed to multiple disease threats including the most significant disease currently affecting the pork industry.

At the same time there is pressure on antimicrobial use in pork production which may require more robust pigs to maintain production, he says.

The next phase of research will take a more broad approach and concentrate on disease resilience, which is a combination of tolerance and resistance. Pigs with increased disease resilience are better able to respond to health challenges and maintain reproductive and grow-finish performance.

Click here to read the complete feature article.

New knowledge for an animal care-driven world

March 17, 2016

Dr. Angela Greter

One stop for the latest in farm animal care developments

It's one of the longest-running, and has a reputation as one of the best livestock care meetings in the country. And there is still time to register for this year's event. The Livestock Care Conference takes place in Olds, Alta., March 22 and 23, 2016 at the Pomeroy Inn and Suites.

"There's an energy around top conferences and that is something the Livestock Care Conference has strived for since it was established years ago," says Dr. Angela Greter, executive director of Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC), which hosts the event.

"We bring in the best speakers to provide fresh takes on the big issues of the day and the goal is to have that energy carry through to the social and networking sessions, and follow delegates home, to drive leadership in their industry.

"These are the people who make the livestock industry tick today and tomorrow."

The conference offers hands-on experience. This year it opens Tuesday with a sheep handling and body condition scoring clinic. And a role that has always been a key part of this event is industry mentorship for post-secondary students. These young delegates get to meet industry leaders, talk shop and their futures in the "Meet the expert" session Tuesday afternoon. The AFAC annual general meeting takes place in the evening and it includes an update on the topic on the minds of many beef producers, the McDonald's Verified Sustainable Beef initiative.

Wednesday's day-long main session leads off with a look at the interconnection between human and animal welfare. There is an update on the unique aspects of caring for rabbits, and a session on the hot topics in poultry welfare.

Delegates will find out how animal welfare is at the intersection of politics, policy, profit and people. There's a bear pit style panel entitled "When the manure hits the fan" with five experienced industry leaders. And the day ends with a look at animal welfare around the world.

Registration closes March 22. You can register and get all the information on the AFAC website.

Click here to read the complete feature article.


March 17, 2016

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

Highly recommended webinar on transparency, animal well-being

Transparency. It's one of the most common words in communications language today. But what does transparency in animal care mean to consumers?

The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) has conducted research into transparency on several key issues of sustainability and social license and produced a series of webinars for public consumption. The first two look at the concept of transparency and what matters most. Subsequent webinars look at the impact on health, food safety, environment and labor.

The final in this webinar series, "Transparency – Animal Well-being" takes place Thursday, Mar. 24, 2016. It looks at whether there is a right or wrong way to communicate with consumers to build trust in how animals are cared for and shares CFI's latest research.

There is still time to register. And you can view the first four webinars in this series and register for the final one on Animal Well-Being on the CFI website.

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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

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A&W marches ahead with new chicken focus

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Banff Pork Seminar digs deeper on welfare issue

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