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Beef Welfare Symposium to Focus on Emerging Issues in Cattle Welfare
Kentucky Ag Connection - 04/14/2022

The Sixth International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare third webinar session to focus on emerging issues on April 27 at 2 p.m. E.T.

The Sixth International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare will present their third in a series of five webinar sessions that will feature experts discussing emerging issues in beef cattle on April 27 at 2 p.m. E.T. The symposium will occur monthly, on the fourth Wednesday, from February through June with presentations taking place from 2 to 4 p.m. E.T.

"We are excited to showcase the latest research from students around the world and to foster a dialogue about what emerging issues need to be studied and discussed further by the industry," said Courtney Daigle, Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. "This session provides a platform to hear from a variety of audiences on issues facing the industry and where we need to focus on regarding research, outreach, policy, and more."

Attendees will hear from researchers and students from around the world as they discuss the latest research in animal welfare and emerging issues in beef cattle welfare. Issues addressed will range from animal welfare research during transport and transport regulations to weaning strategies and alternative approaches to disease detection.

"This session is an excellent venue to extend the latest in applied research on beef cattle welfare to producers, veterinarians, researchers, students and all industry stakeholders," said Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, Principle Scientist from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta. The studies presented will aid producers in anticipating and solving emerging welfare challenges and will play an integral role in informing regulations and setting global standards on cattle care and management."

The third webinar on April 27 features:

- Courtney Daigle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. Dr. Daigle specializes in evaluating the impact of husbandry and management practices on captive animal health, productivity, and welfare. Because humans are the wild card in welfare, she will take this opportunity to discuss the human component of cattle welfare. Her presentation on will take an in-depth look at pen rider attitudes and perspectives towards animals and their own occupation. She will also address the challenges faced by livestock truckers as they attempt to balance human and animal transportation regulations.

- Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein is a Principle Scientist (Beef cattle welfare and production) with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, AB. Her research includes pain/stress assessment and mitigation strategies associated with routine management procedures such as transport, castration, dehorning, and lameness. In this session she will focus on the research around livestock transport, animal welfare factors like stress, rest, access to feed and water. The session will also examine the need to better match regulations with research that best supports animal welfare.

Student Presentations:

- Evidence of social buffering benefits to castration stress in beef calves housed with familiar pen-mates - Caleb Brezina, Iowa State University

- Does providing bedding change the latency and duration of cattle lying behaviour during long-distance transport rest stops? - Paula Olivares Guzman, University of Guelph, Canada

- The effect of floor type on the performance and welfare of finishing beef steers - Cathy McGettigan, Teagasc, Ireland

- The Natural Weaning Window in Suckler Beef Cattle - Dorit Albertsen, Bristol Veterinary School, UK

- Naturally weaned beef cattle preferentially associate with related rather than unrelated animals - Francesca Johansen, Queen's University Belfast, Ireland

- Scoring septum injuries in beef calves with and without a nose flap - Ashlynn Kirk, University of California Davis

- Evaluating Dogs' Ability to Detect Bovine Respiratory Disease - Aiden Juge, Texas A&M University

"Our goal with these sessions is to not only provide new research on emerging issues around animal welfare but to also spur discussion around regulation and implementation" said Dr. Janice Swanson, Department of Animal Science and Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University. "In addition, it a great opportunity for students to connect with the beef industry to gain insight for their future research and careers."

Throughout its five webinars, the symposium will bring together renowned beef experts to discuss their latest research findings and emerging animal welfare issues that face the beef cattle industry. The symposium features topics of interest for anyone connected to the beef industry from academia and government to beef producers and allied industries. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and provide input to the conversation.

The webinar series is free, thanks to the generous grant support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Those interested in attending may register at

For more information about the program visit:

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