GFM Network News


The project is being funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

University of Calgary expands diagnostic services for livestock industry

Animal Health: News Roundup from the September 28 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

The University of Calgary’s faculty of veterinary medicine is piloting an expansion of its diagnostic service unit for enhanced animal disease diagnosis and welfare. Since the provincial government ended comprehensive veterinary diagnostic services for livestock in 1995, private practitioners have picked up those services. That model has worked for companion animals and, to some extent, […] Read more

Animal welfare activist dies outside Ontario pork plant

Protestor reportedly hit by transport truck

An animal welfare activist has died while attending what’s been described as a “vigil” outside a southern Ontario hog packing plant, as new provincial limits on such activity around livestock are set to take effect. Halton Regional Police Service reported receiving a call Friday morning that a person had been “struck by a transport truck” […] Read more


A glimpse of the livestock handling demonstrations at Ag in Motion in 2019.  Livestock Central has moved online for 2020.

Eight tips for efficient, safe livestock handling systems

If you’re in the market for a new handling system, consider safety, footing and how the system will be used

The basic purpose of a livestock chute and handling system is to hold, sort, direct, position, control and treat. If designed properly, the system will reduce operator handling time and effort, minimize animal injury and stress, plus allow anyone using it to do so safely. 1. Decide what is needed First, it is important to […] Read more

Can we reduce castration pain in week-old calves?

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

Calving season is upon some of you and just around the corner for many more. Half of those calves will be castrated. Research has shown that it’s best to castrate calves at the youngest practical age to minimize pain and speed recovery. The 2019 Adoption Rates of Recommended Practices by Cow-Calf Operators in Canada study […] Read more


Ontario offers cash for abattoir upgrades

Applications now being accepted through April

Ontario’s 123 provincially-licensed abattoirs can now start applying for a piece of $2 million in federal/provincial funding to step up food safety, biosecurity and animal welfare measures. The Ontario and federal governments on Wednesday announced applications for cost-share funding can be submitted between now and April 30, “as long as funding for the initiative is […] Read more



Each year Cattle Trail gives Stampede-goers a chance to see live cattle close-up.

Meeting consumers on the Cattle Trail

The Calgary Stampede’s Cattle Trail is a case study into the value of face-to-face interactions between beef producers and consumers

For many visitors to the Calgary Stampede, a trip to the barns is the only interaction they ever have with livestock. This lends greater importance to the UFA Cattle Trail, an interactive exhibit about beef production. Set up each year in the Calgary Stampede’s Nutrien Western Event Centre, the Cattle Trail shares the story of […] Read more

This past year has seen a number of incidents involving animal activists trespassing onto farms in an attempt to “liberate” livestock from producers.

Comment: Stealing a pig is not heroic

Usually fall elicits thoughts of seasonal chores such as moving the cow herd home or weaning calves. Feedlots and auction marts are gearing up for the fall calf run and we’re all thinking about winter. But this year, some in the livestock sector are weighing the likelihood of vegan activists trespassing onto their operation and […] Read more


Improved design of handling equipment benefits all aspects of processing cattle.

Improved design applied to cattle handling equipment

Easier on cattle and people and the job gets done faster

For three weeks in December 2018, I filled in at a former practice. There were a few really positive things and improvements in many of the farms I visited previously. Most are progressive operators so improvements are always being made. These improve animal welfare and make it easier on the people involved — including me, […] Read more

Producers are expected to seek guidance from their veterinarian on the optimum method and timing of castration.

What we’ve learned about castration in beef cattle

Research on the Record with Reynold Bergen

When Canada’s 2013 Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle was being developed, some participants felt it should require pain control for castration at all ages, like the dairy code. The producers and researchers on the beef code committee were confident that pain control was beneficial for feedlot bulls and dairy […] Read more