GFM Network News


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

Producers are encouraged to provide feedback on what they want animal welfare enforcement to look like.

Ontario given a year to revise animal welfare legislation

Policy: News Roundup from the February 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Ontario’s Superior Court has ruled that the province must revamp legislation governing enforcement and inspection of animal welfare complaints in the next year, Stew Slater of Farmtario reports. Unless the province’s Attorney General appeals, the revised legislation will have to include reasonable oversight and accountability. Under the current legislation, the Ontario Society for the Prevention […] Read more


Climate change’s impact on managing animal health

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

I’m losing more arguments with grandchildren that our climate hasn’t changed significantly, prompted by signals that have only grown more evident through the last half of my lifetime. At one point, I convinced myself that climatic changes were part of a natural phenomenon — one of those things history would look upon and call an […] Read more

Ed Pajor.

Ed Pajor takes the reins at W.A. Ranches

The donation of W.A. Ranches also kicks off an exciting new chapter for Ed Pajor, who has been appointed the ranch’s first director. Pajor was raised on a tobacco farm in southern Ontario and studied biology as an undergraduate at the University of Waterloo. There, he participated in a co-op program as part of his […] Read more


Fatigued Cattle Syndrome can exhibit in highly finished cattle following transport.

What we know about Fatigued Cattle Syndrome

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Fatigued Cattle Syndrome (FCS) appeared as a clinical syndrome during the summer of 2013. Scientists described it as a novel syndrome affecting highly finished cattle following transport. FCS became a welfare issue when first described and remains a potential welfare problem if not managed properly. Prevention of FCS appears on many conference agendas covering beef […] Read more

Take-aways from the 2018 beef summit, Part 1

This is the first of a two-part series highlighting “take-aways” from the 2018 Beef Summit in Calgary that combined the International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare and the UCVM Beef Cattle Conference

Pain mitigation Andrew Fisher, University of Melbourne A number of presentations at this year’s summit dealt with pain in livestock and the responsibility of producers, veterinarians and everyone in contact with livestock to lessen discomfort whenever possible. It’s universally accepted that day-to-day husbandry practices include things that cause pain; procedures such as hot-iron branding, dehorning […] Read more


Who do you think you are?

Straight from the hip with Brenda Schoepp

The business of agriculture is getting it from all sides. Some folks liken farmers, ranchers and cattle feeders to monsters who are destroying the land and even more so the air. Society has a way of defining those involved in food production by what they do and not who they are. When someone asks us […] Read more

Two-month-old calves were numbered to identify them as they were sampled for blood and weighed through the chute.

Pain control in cattle remains a complex issue

The age of the animal is often a factor when considering pain mitigating options

When it comes to pain mitigation practices for her cattle operation, Cecilie Fleming believes it’s the right thing to do. It’s also proven to be practical and cost-effective, factors that many beef producers consider when deciding whether to implement pain control. Fleming, who raises purebred Angus, Simmental and Charolais cattle with her family at Fleming […] Read more