News Releases

Date: 3/5/2010

Title: K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute to Host 2010 International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare

DENVER – Amid consumers’ growing interest in how their food is produced, Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute will host the 2010 International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare May 19-21 on the K-State campus in Manhattan.

“Beef cattle well-being is the foundation to any beef cattle operation.  Ranchers and farmers strive to provide the best care possible for their animals.  Today, 97.4% of Americans eat meat.  This symposium is an example of how the beef industry and its researchers continue to find new advances in animal well-being for the cattle they raise for beef.  The beef industry has nothing to hide from the American public.  Nobody cares more for the well-being of cattle than the 700,000 beef producers who spend their lives raising them.” said Dan Thomson, K-State associate professor and director of the Beef Cattle Institute.

“This symposium will provide everyone who is involved in the beef cattle industry – from producer to veterinarian to feedyard manager and transport specialist to processor – the opportunity to have constructive discussion on well-being issues facing our industry,” Thomson said. “The speakers we have lined up for this are the leading experts in the field. Their depth, range and unique focus will provide all attendees with networking and problem solving opportunities.”

Some of those speakers include Temple Grandin, a Colorado State University professor of animal science who has earned a reputation for not only designing livestock handling systems, but for her overall in-depth understanding of animal behavior. Joseph Stookey, an Applied Ethologist and sustainable beef systems research expert from the University of Saskatchewan, Mike Siemens, Leader - Animal Welfare and Husbandry for Cargill Animal Protein;  Janice Swanson, director of Animal Welfare at Michigan State University; Glynn Tonsor, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Michigan State; Ron Gill, professor and extension livestock specialist for Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Tom Noffsinger a cattle handling expert and beef cattle veterinarian; and others will speak.  

Conference presentations will include such topics as: Answering public questions about beef production; How to set up and implement an auditing system in beef cattle operations; How can the beef industry better communicate to governmental entities; Teaching beef cattle welfare in the fieldAnalgesic pharmacology and management of pain associated with dehorning, castration and lameness; Management of culled dairy cows; Animal welfare at the beef packing level; How do we benchmark animal welfare progress in our industries; What are the economics associated with welfare; and more.  

A similar symposium hosted by K-State in 2008 drew about 700 on-site and webcast participants from 31 states and 4 countries.

For those who are unable to attend in person, a live webcast option is available again this year.

The conference will be preceded by a half-day session on emergency preparedness for those involved in the beef industry. That session, which begins at 1 p.m., May 19 in Weber Arena, will cover such topics as handling loose cattle after an accident; moving downed animals, humane safety and handling fractious animals; humane euthanasia techniques and choices in the field and emergency response techniques for wounded cattle.

The early registration fee of $30 for the half-day Emergency Preparedness Session and $100 for the on-site Symposium, is due by April 1. Early registration for the live webcast at an individual’s location is $100 and $500 for a live webcast group. The fee covers participation in all symposium sessions, one lunch, refreshment breaks and symposium proceedings.

More information, including online registration, is available on the Web:  http://www.isbcw.beefcattleinstitute.org/



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