Meat&Poultry - April 2012 - (Page 100)

From the Corral BY DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN On-farm handling Handling procedures in many large beef and pork slaughter plants have become excellent, and the problems I have observed with animal handling are pr i mar i ly caused by factors on the farm, ranch, dairy or feedlot. It is time to push back down the supply chain and fi x these problems. Low-stress, humane Grandin should walk through the pens in a different random direction each day to train the pigs to quietly move away. Some of the most dangerous cattle to handle have been exclusively handled on horses. They may become highly agitated when they encounter their first person on foot at a plant. To prevent this problem, cattle should be moved in and out of pens by people on foot before they arrive at the plant. Animals are very specific in how they store memories. A person on foot and a person on a horse are two totally different pictures. The man on the ment with bare feet. That is how these animals walk. In the same group of cattle, lameness is very variable. In most groups, 50 percent of the cattle appear normal and about 5 percent are severely lame and another 20 percent are sore footed. I have seen this lameness variability at five different plants, and I never observed this type of lameness in feedlot cattle before beta-agonists were put on the market. Another lameness problem I have observed is arthritic swollen leg joints in pigs. I have seen groups of market hogs where 50 percent of the animals were severely lame with severely swollen joints. This appeared to be caused by a variety of factors such as arthritis or poor leg conformation. During hot weather, I have observed heat stress in all types and breeds of feedlot cattle. It is likely these cattle had been fed beta-agonist because the heatstressed cattle were also lame. Again, the heat-stress symptoms were very variable. They ranged from 5 percent with open-mouth breathing handling is nearly impossible if the animals are highly excitable, lame, weak or heat-stressed. A variety of on-farm factors can cause handling problems. The behavior of pigs and cattle during handling is influenced by handling procedures on the farm. The worst pigs to handle at the plant are the ones where nobody has entered their pens until the day of loading the trucks. When it is time to load, they pile up and squeal when a person enters the pen. To prevent this from happening, the producer should get the pigs accustomed to people by walking through the pens before they are shipped. During the fi nishing period, the person horse has become safe and familiar, but the person on foot is new, novel and frightening. with tongues out, to half the cattle being normal. About 20 percent of the group had open-mouth breathing. To have humane treatment at the slaughter plant requires receiving an animal that is fit for handling and transport. The animals I have described would not be considered fit. To solve these problems, conditions at the animal’s origin must be corrected. ■ Dr. Temple Grandin operates Grandin Livestock Systems Inc., Fort Collins, Colo., and is a faculty member in the animal science department at Colorado State Univ. We would like to hear from you – to comment on this story or to request reprints, contact us by e-mail at Lameness problems Lame animals are more difficult to handle because they are reluctant to move. I have recently observed sorefooted feedlot cattle that had been fed beta-agonists. The cattle had normal looking feet, but they tended to walk hesitantly. Imagine how you would walk if you were walking on hot pave- 100 • Meat&Poultry • April 2012 •

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat&Poultry - April 2012

Meat&Poultry - April 2012
Table of Contents
Commentary - Assassinating effective technology
Business Notes - LFTB fallout continues
Business Notes - Thompson to CEO of McDonald’s
Business Notes - Introducing: NAMA
Business Notes - Group to acquire Burger King restaurants
Business Notes - JBS may leave Argentina
Business Notes - JBS Q4 earnings advance despite Pilgrim’s Pride loss
Business Notes - Tyson addresses its strategy and stance on LFTB
Washington - Family farm labor pains
Cover Story - Team builder
Food Safety - Full speed ahead
CEO Series - Executive experience
Ground Beef - Burger nirvana
Meat Processing - Operations & Engineering
Flooring - Building a solid foundation
Contract Sanitation - Focus on plant sanitation
Sanitation Tips (Consejos de Sanidad) - Cleaning compounds
Sanitation Tips - Be cautious with chemicals
Packaging Solutions - Sandwich success
Ingredient Issues - ‘Real food’ nutrition
Ingredient Trends - Tracking global ingredient trends
Small Business Matters - Remote possibilities
Leadership Development - Creating future leaders
From the Corral - On-farm handling
Labor - Balancing and bargaining act
Names in the News
New Product Showcase
Classified Advertising
The Insider

Meat&Poultry - April 2012