NBQA News Archive
Consumers care about the welfare of food animals whose product may eventually end up on their table. This leads consumers to ask questions about how their food is raised, in this instance, beef. In order to provide consumers with answers, many restaurants, food service, and retailers adopt and implement animal welfare programs. One such instance this has occurred is the BQA certification requirement set forth by most of the major beef packers. For example, Tyson requires 100% of the cattle they purchase to come from a BQA certified feedyard. Cargill requires 90%.
The summer heat is bearing down across the nation. With the summer heat comes the concern for animal welfare, specifically towards cattle in feedlots. With rising temperatures and high humidity, cattle are more prone to heat stress. This concern increases when winds die down reducing air movement.
When cattle experience heat stress, producers may see reduced intakes and gains. However, in extreme cases, cattle can succumb to the detrimental effects of the heat stress they are experiencing.
In rare situations when the beef industry finds itself the subject of disparaging headlines, it is generally successful in combating misinformation with factual, positive messaging.
But consider having to respond to a news story that reveals a diner has bitten into a shotgun pellet in a carry-out hamburger. Whether birdshot becomes embedded in beef carcasses directly from producers using shotguns on cattle or indirectly from hunters, consumers would find neither explanation justified
Quality assurance programs are all too familiar across the beef industry. Typically, these programs are discussed at the food product plants where we are working to maintain the quality of product after the animal is harvested.
However, what about before the animal is harvested? Does how we raise and handle the animal before harvest affect the quality of the beef? Yes.