July 10, 2008
More than 60 dairy producers, cattlemen, as well as government and private veterinarians, learned new methods of caring for non-ambulatory cows during a dairy cattle welfare workshop on July 9 hosted by the University of California’s Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare.
"This workshop provided the tools and knowledge to support the challenges in the care and handling of disabled cattle on the farm and in market channels” stated Dr. Carolyn Stull, Veterinary Medicine Cooperative Extension Specialist and one of the workshop's organizers. "Attendees gained practical techniques that are easily utilized for the management of non-ambulatory animals in their care."
Speakers reviewed the prognosis, treatment, movement and handling of debilitated cattle. Faculty demonstrated a new large animal lift developed at the School of Veterinary Medicine and the use of flotation tanks to support recovering animals. Proper techniques for euthanasia of cattle on the farm were also discussed.
"Farm animal welfare has simmered on the back burner for a long time," Stull said. "This workshop gave us the opportunity to focus on individual topics, offer realistic approaches, and sow the seeds of future educational workshops for dairy and beef producers as well as veterinarians in the field."
More information about farm animal welfare, including the 2007 publication, "A Review of the Causes, Prevention, and Welfare of Nonambulatory Cattle," is available at http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vetext/animalwelfare.
The Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, a program of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine based in Tulare, provides veterinary education, advanced training, and on-farm veterinary services emphasizing dairy medicine and herd health. The center also works with regional dairy producers on applied research to benefit the health, productivity and welfare of dairy cattle. http://www.vmtrc.ucdavis.edu/
Veterinary Medicine Extension provides the vital link between School of Veterinary Medicine researchers and county farm advisors, practicing veterinarians, animal producers and consumers. Faculty specialists in Cooperative Extension provide teaching, research and service programs on disease prevention, production quality control, biotechnology, food safety and animal well-being.