GFM Network News


A glimpse of the livestock handling demonstrations at Ag in Motion in 2019. Decide what you need in a handling system before you buy.

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


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