Humane Animal Practice Plan
PART 1: NUTRITION – FOOD AND WATER
Section 1 Food
- Cattle must be fed a wholesome diet which is:
- Appropriate for their age and species
- Fed to them in sufficient quantity to maintain them in good health
- Formulated or assessed to satisfy their nutritional needs as established by the National Research Council (NRC) Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle and as recommended for the geographic area.
Free access to feed
- Cattle must have free access to nutritious feed each day, except when directed by a veterinarian.
- Written records and/or labels of the feed constituents, the inclusion rate and constituents of compound feeds, and feed supplements, including records from the feed mill.
Substances prohibited in feed
- No feedstuffs containing mammalian or avian-derived protein sources are permitted, with the exception of milk and milk products.
- Cattle will not be implanted with any growth promoter.
- Antibiotics can be used only therapeutically (i.e. disease treatment) as directed by a veterinarian.
- Cattle will be fed so they sustain full health and normal reproductive capacity over their foreseeable life span.
- Body condition in cattle will be maintained according to the stage of production.
- A body condition score (BCS) of 5 to 7 (on a 1-9 scale) is considered best for maintaining productivity and health.
Beef cattle body condition scoring
Very thin with bony protuberance
Thin fat cover
Light fat cover over ribs, shoulder, hip
Light fat cover over all body parts
Medium fat cover
Frame fat cover is balanced
Fat deposits, tailhead, dewlap
Excessive fat deposits, tailhead, etc.
Body condition score will be regularly monitored with particular attention to weaning,30 days post weaning, 90 days before calving, at calving, and at the beginning of breeding season.
Avoiding changes in feed
- Efforts will be made to avoid sudden changes in the type and quantity of feed, unless such changes are made under the direction of a veterinarian or cattle nutritionist.
- Adult cattle and calves over 30 days of age will be provided with feed or forage containing sufficient fiber to allow rumination.
- The fiber will be of such quality and amount as to prevent acidosis.
Easy availability of feed
- Cattle will have adequate amounts of feed available to help prevent feed competition.
- If feed is restricted in a dietary protocol, animal will be moved to separate area to control feed intake.
Supplying adequate nutrients
- Cattle will be maintained in an environment that will not predispose them to nutrient deficiency.
- Employees maintain mineral feeders.
Clean feeding equipment
- Feed troughs/bunks will be kept clean, and stale or moldy feed removed.
- Automatic feed delivery systems will be kept:
- Free of stale feed.
- Maintained in good working order.
Minimizing contamination of water by feedstuffs
- Feeding and watering equipment are designed, constructed, placed and maintained so that contamination of the animals’ feed and water is minimized.
Avoiding unsuitable feedstuffs
- Control practices are in place to eliminate:
- Livestock access to poisonous plants and unsuitable feed stuffs.
- Contamination of stored feeds.
Diet requirements for calves
- Calves are fed a nutritious diet.
- Antibiotics cannot be used except therapeutically, as directed by a veterinarian.
- All calves will have access to fresh water.
- Every newborn calf will receive adequate colostrum from its dam, from another newlycalved cow, or from a powdered or frozen colostrum source, as soon as possible after it is born, and ideally within the first 2 hours of its life.
- All orphan calves or those unable to nurse must receive liquid food twice daily at least through the first 5 weeks of life or until they are eating adequate quantities of suitable solid food.
- Milk replacer will be mixed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Calves will have access to feed or forage material containing sufficient digestible fiber to stimulate the development of its rumen.
- Jersey milk cows are also available to graft calves to most of the time.
- Calves will not be weaned from their mothers before an average of 6 months of age.
- Deviations are acceptable for the following reasons: drought conditions, flooding, other conditions that require earlier weaning.
- A low stress fence line weaning method will be used (calf and cow separated by fence) after the calf has worn a nose weaner for 7 to 10 days.
Section 2 Water
- Cattle, including calves, will be provided with access to an unlimited supply of clean, fresh drinking water, except when directed by the attending veterinarian.
Water when cattle are housed
- When cattle are housed, they will have access to water at all times, except when directed by the attending veterinarian.
- Water troughs will be kept clean.
- When automatic systems are used, they will be checked daily for contaminants or debris.
- In pastures, the area around water troughs will be managed to avoid excessive puddles or mud by the use of filter fabric and dense grade stone.
Water for cattle on pasture
- When cattle are on pasture, a supply of fresh, clean water will always be available.
- Grazing cattle will not have to walk long distances to access water: less than 1/4 mile.
- Natural surface water, streams, and springs are the main sources of drinking water.
Emergency water supply
- In case of emergency, water will be supplied from 500 gallon tank until cattle can be moved to area with adequate water or until existing water supply is restored.
PART 2: ENVIRONMENT
Section 1 Buildings
Environment for Cattle
- Triangle B Ranch, Inc.’s cattle are raised with continual access to the outdoors.
Preventing injuries from environmental causes
- Strive to provide an environment without physical features that may cause injuries to the animals both indoors and outdoors.
- Particular attention will be paid to handling pens.
- Floors must be made of non-slip material or be maintained so as to reduce the risk of slipping.
- Floors will never be so rough as to cause hoof damage or so smooth as to result in slipping.
- Concrete floors are grooved or treated with a non-slip coating/belting.
Maintenance of passageways
- Building alleyways, passages and gateways are maintained in a manner to prevent harm to the animals.
- All electrical installations are:
- Inaccessible to cattle
- Well insulated
- Safeguarded from rodents
- Properly grounded
- Regularly tested
- Meet local building codes.
Design of passageways
- Passages, such as gates or alleys are constructed, to allow two animals to pass freely (except in chutes or races).
- Chutes and races are designed to prevent balking and permit cattle to move smoothly through the system in a single line.
- Internal surfaces of housing and pens are made of materials which can readily be cleansed, disinfected, or easily replaced when necessary.
Section 2 Temperature and Ventilation
- The thermal environment within buildings where cattle are housed are climate controlled to cause minimize extremes from cold or heat.
- Pastures allow cattle access to features that allow relief during severe weather.
- Buildings permit low velocity air movement and reduce drafts and minimizing the entrance of rain and snow.
- The primary concern relating to winter housing is to keep cattle out of wind, rain and snow which reduce core body temperature. The objective is to provide a large volume of air and high air exchange rates to remove the moisture produced by the cattle and to reduce the number of airborne pathogens being passed from animal to animal.
- Provisions have be made to ensure that, when cattle are housed indoors, airborne contaminants do not reach a level at which they are noticeably unpleasant to a human observer.
Indoor stocking rates
- Building and pens provide adequate space for freedom of movement and adequate room to lie down.
- When cattle have access roofed units they are provided with
- Effective shelter from the wind
- A dry, comfortable lying area.
- All indoor facilities provide cattle with the opportunity to regulate core temperature.
- Cattle are provided with adequate space to perform behavioral adjustments to regulate body core temperature and have access to indoor facilities or natural shelters or barriers.
- Windbreaks are provided for cattle on pasture and/or in feedlots. Windbreaks consist of natural tree belts, fences, or manmade structures that are strategically placed to block prevailing winds. Natural geographic features such as hills or canyons are also used in pasture grazing conditions.
- Shade, either natural or artificial, is provided for the cattle.
- Hard surfaced pens are made from materials that are impervious to water and urine.
- Surfaces are grooved or scored but not abrasive to cattle’s feet.
- Hard surfaced pens used for resting, health recovery, or calving are properly bedded with moisture absorbent bedding and or rubber mats.
- Manure handling systems are utilized in designated animal barns and feedlot areas.
- Cattle are finished in feeding areas on the ranch property.
- Cattle being finish-fed are grouped according to size and age.
- Feedlots are partially covered and sloped to promote proper drainage away from resting/loafing areas, water supply, feed troughs/bunks, and fence lines.
- Every animal has sufficient access to water, feed, and a resting area.
- Cattle are managed so as to remain reasonably clean.
Special holding areas
- Special areas are available for use during calving season, for first calf heifers or cows experiencing calving problems.
- Freedom of movement, except when in working chute or for medical reasons, all cattle have at all times:
- Sufficient freedom of movement to be able to groom themselves without difficulty.
- Sufficient room to lie down and freely stretch their limbs.
- Sufficient room to rise and turn around.
- Cattle are not kept closely confined except in the following circumstances, and even then only for the shortest period of time necessary:
- For the duration of any examination, routine test, blood sampling, veterinary treatment.
- While they are being fed on any particular occasion.
- For the purpose of marking, washing or weighing.
- While housed area is being cleaned.
- During the procedure of artificial insemination or;
- While they are awaiting loading for transportation.
- Show cattle are kept confined for up to three hours per day to prepare for shows
Sufficient light in buildings
- In all cattle housing, adequate lighting (whether fixed or portable), is available to allow them to be thoroughly inspected at any time.
Calving pen design
- When cows are temporarily kept in a building for calving, the following apply:
- They are provided with a clean, dry bedded area that is equipped with a means of restraint and adequate lighting that permits personnel to attend the cows and their calves safely.
- Feed and water will be available.
- Housed cows are kept in individual pens for calving.
- Insulation and ventilation of the building ensure that the air circulation, dust levels, temperature, and ammonia concentrations are kept within safe limits.
Surfaces suitable for cleaning
- Surfaces of indoor calving and hospital pens are constructed of materials which can be easily cleaned.
- Heifers calving on pasture are checked at least twice daily for signs of parturition
- All cows are checked on a regular basis for calving problems.
- First calf heifers are kept in a separate pasture from the adult cow herd.
- Weather conditions will be considered and are a determining factor in the frequency of monitoring during calving season, with higher frequency during adverse weather.
- Alleyways and gates are designed and operated so as not to impede the movement of cattle.
- When operating gates and catches, every effort is made to reduce excessive noise, which may cause distress to the animals.
- Manual restraining chutes are adjusted for proper size of cattle.
- Regular cleaning and maintenance of all working parts is imperative to proper working of the system and safety of the cattle and handlers.
- Alleyways, chutes, crowding pens and sides of loading ramps closed in as to avoid distraction and balking in cattle where applicable.
- Provide a ramp of no more than a 15% incline;
- Kept clean and well lit to minimize shadows.
Facilities for stressed calves
- Hypothermia and additional stress is minimized in susceptible calves utilizing calf blankets when necessary.
- Selected calving pastures provide cows with a dry calving environment and access to natural or artificial shelter as weather conditions dictate.
Design and maintenance of fences
- All fencing, including gates, are inspected and maintained on a regular basis.
PART 3: MANAGEMENT
Understanding the standards
- Manager must ensure that:
- All employees have a copy of and understand the Humane Animal Practice Plan
- The Humane Animal Practice Plan is under annual review and re-evaluation.
Management and record keeping activities
- Manager duties:
- Provide suitable training for all employees, with regular updates and opportunities for feedback.
- Develop plans that can be implemented when emergencies that affect the well being of animals, such as fire, floods and power failures.
- Procedures to be followed by those discovering such an emergency.
- The location of water sources for use by the fire department
- Regularly update the Animal Health Plan and maintain individual health records.
- Ensure animals to be transported, including cull cows are fit for transport.
- Prior to being given responsibility for the welfare of livestock, employees are properly trained and/or have the experience appropriate to their job responsibilities, and be able to:
- Recognize signs of normal behavior, abnormal behavior, and fear.
- Recognize signs of common diseases and know when to seek help.
- Have a basic knowledge of body condition scoring.
- Manager has the necessary experience appropriate to their areas of responsibility and ability to demonstrate and achieve the above, plus the following:
- Knowledge of what constitutes proper nutrition in cattle.
- Understand functional anatomy of the normal foot and its care and treatment.
- Understand the functional anatomy of the normal teat and udder.
- Knowledge of calving and the care of the newborn calf.
- Understand principles of cattle breeding and genetics.
- On-the-job training is provided to employees, including temporary and part-time employees.
- Manager is competent in handling animals in a positive and compassionate manner.
- Manager is proficient in procedures that have potential to cause suffering e.g. injections, foot trimming, dehorning, castration, and identification procedures.
- Animals are handled with care and in a manner that imposes the minimum stress on the animals. Facilities are designed for the safe movement of cattle.
- Cattle are moved at a slow, comfortable pace with minimal noise as not to cause stress or injury.
- All employees are knowledgeable of how cattle react towards other cattle, towards humans and to strange noises, sights, sounds and smells, and work to minimize these stressors:
- Sticks and flags are used as benign handling aids, i.e., as extensions of the arms.
- No animal are pulled or lifted by the tail, skin, ears or limbs.
- Aggressive tail twisting can cause tails to break, especially in young animals, and is prohibited.
- Electric prods are prohibited, except when animal and human safety is in jeopardy and only as a last resort.
- Calving aids are only used to assist in a delivery when delivery may cause loss of life.
- The cow will be examined prior to assistance to ensure that the calf is properly presented and of a size for which natural delivery can be reasonably expected, without causing undue pain and distress to either the dam or the offspring.
Rapid diagnosis and treatment
- All efforts will be made to ensure a prompt and proper diagnosis/treatment of any sick animal.
- If it does not respond, euthanasia will be considered.
- No live animal can leave the farm or be transported unless it is able to walk unassisted.
- All non-ambulatory animals will be treated without delay.
- Appropriate equipment is available to move an injured or non-ambulatory animal. For moving non-ambulatory animals, care will be taken as not to cause unnecessary pain or distress to the animal.
- No live animal will leave the farm or be transported unless it is able to walk unassisted (except for veterinary care).
- All non-ambulatory and injured animals will be provided with deep bedding, shelter from adverse weather, and accessible water and feed.
- Where the prognosis for recovery of a non-ambulatory animal is poor, euthanasia of the animal on farm may be undertaken.
- Calves will be ear tagged at birth with unique ID tags. The ID tag number is entered into CattleMax online linking the calf with the dam.
- When calves reach 600 – 1000 lbs they are registered with the American Wagyu Association and receive an ear tattoo and a metal band identifier in a manner as to minimize stress or endanger the safety of the animal.
- When equipment is installed which affects animal welfare, employees are trained to:
- Operate the equipment properly.
- Maintain the equipment.
- Recognize early signs of imminent failure of equipment.
- Act appropriately in the event of a failure of this equipment.
- All automated equipment (e.g. waterers, feed dispensers, electric fence) are regularly inspected by employees daily, to check if they are working properly and repaired immediately. If repairs cannot be performed immediately cattle will be moved to another location until repairs are made.
PART 4: HEALTH
The environment in which livestock are housed is conducive to good health. Triangle B Ranch, Inc.’s herd health plan is in accordance with appropriate veterinary and husbandry practices.
An Animal Health Plan (AHP) is in place and regularly updated in consultation with staff veterinarian.
- The plan includes details of:
- Nutrition program.
- Vaccination program.
- Parasite prevention.
- Infectious disease protocols, including tolerance limits on overall herd performance.
- Euthanasia for culling and emergencies.
Records are kept of all medical/animal health procedures that are performed.
- Herd health problems.
- Sudden deaths, disease outbreaks or mortality that cannot be readily identified by the manager shall be determined by veterinarian.
- The herd is monitored for but not limited to: non-infectious diseases, infectious diseases, and injury as a result of housing/husbandry. For example:
- Metabolic Disorders
- Problems at Calving
- Calf Scours
- Repetitive Physical Injury
- Respiratory Diseases
- Body Condition
- Non-ambulatory animals
- Contagious or downed animals will be segregated and cared for separate from the herd.
- Any cattle suffering from illness or injury will be treated without delay, and veterinary advice sought when needed. If necessary, such animals may be euthanized.
- Quarantine pens will be of a size that is appropriate for the age, size and breed of the animal.
- The animal must be able to stand up, turn around, lie down, rest and groom itself without hindrance.
- Water, feed and shelter will be readily accessible at all times, unless otherwise directed by the veterinarian.
- Water and feed will also be readily available to non-ambulatory animals, even if they are not housed in a quarantine pen.
- Urine and manure from hospital pens for sick and injured animals are disposed of in a manner that prevents spread of infection to other stock.
- Pens are constructed to facilitate effective cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, and the possible removal of a carcass.
Managing animals from outside sources
- Replacement animals brought in from other sources must be quarantined for a minimum period of 2 weeks. During this period animals will be inspected by staff and monitored for health issues before integration into the herd.
- All practical measures are taken to prevent or control external and internal parasitic infestations as set forth in the Animal Health Plan.
- Horn removal may be performed on calves under 8 months of age and is conducted using pain control. The removal of horns from cattle over 8 months of age will:
- Only be performed by a veterinarian, using a combination of sedative or local anesthesia and anti-inflammatory medications.
- Bull calves castration by surgical or non surgical means:
- Castration may be accomplished by the application of a band (rubber ring) up to7 days of age.
- Between 7 days and 6 months of age, other banding methods, such as “Calicrate” or “E-Z Bander” are used only with pain control.
- Surgical castration of bulls over 6 months of age is performed by a veterinarian using sedation, local or regional anesthesia, anti-inflammatory medication for pain control, and provisions for controlling bleeding.
- Tail docking is prohibited.
- Ear splitting is prohibited.
- All of these practices are performed in a way that minimizes suffering and by trained and competent employees.
- The above procedures will not be performed on sick animals; and only be performed using appropriate, properly maintained equipment.
- Use of a nose lead as the sole form of restraint is prohibited.
Medicines must be:
- Clearly labeled
- Stored in accordance with label instructions
- Kept in a secure area which is safe from animals and unauthorized people.
- Any medicines used in the U.S. are licensed for use in the U.S.
Induction of parturition
- Induction of parturition is acceptable in accordance with the veterinarian’s recommendations.
- Pregnancy testing will be non-evasive and accomplished with ultrasound at about 60-90 days.
- Provisions for timely and humane euthanasia of casualty cattle are in place.
- This is accomplished on-farm by a trained, competent employee, or a veterinarian. The method of euthanasia that will be used in each age group of animals will be specified by a veterinarian.
- Disposal of the carcass meets local requirements and regulations.
- Personnel in charge of cattle transporters must be able to demonstrate competence in handling cattle when loading and unloading them, and while in transit.
- Animal handlers must be knowledgeable about likely stressors and how cattle react towards other cattle, towards humans and to strange noises, sights, sounds and smells.
Pre-transport feed and water
- All cattle, including calves, will have access to water up to the point of transport.
- All cattle, including calves, will have access to feed until at least 5 hours prior to loading onto the truck.
- The timing of transport for any purpose will be planned to minimize traveling and waiting time for the cattle
- Casualty animal transport
- A sick or injured ambulatory animal will only be transported:
- If it is being taken for veterinary treatment or it is being taken for nearest humane slaughter; and
- If the said animal is suitable for loading, traveling and unloading.
- A USDA slaughter facility with USDA inspector present will be used.