Animal welfare highlighted during Stockmanship and Stewardship event
Animal welfare and husbandry is an important topic for consumers and the producers raising the livestock.
Dr. Dave Sjeklocha is a technical services veterinarian with Merck Animal Health.
“Our consumers want to know that our livestock are being cared for properly,” he says. “If it’s going to be on their plate, they want to know it had a decent life and producers do an excellent job of that.”
He says producers are also working on antimicrobial stewardship.
“If we can take good care of our livestock, treat them right, and do the things that we should do—proper weaning practices, for example,” he says. “If we do those things antimicrobial stewardship is going to take care of itself because we’re probably going to have less stress on those animals and stress is a large driver of disease. The two concepts of animal welfare and husbandry and antimicrobial stewardship work hand and hand and can really help each other.”
Brownfield interviewed Sjeklocha during the recent Stockmanship and Stewardship meeting in Danville, Indiana.
“The neat thing about this program is that it’s clear, especially for the people who attend these events, that they’re trying to do better,” he says. “That’s the key—constant improvement. Try to do a little bit better today than you did yesterday and if you can keep that going, we’re going to see the benefits of it.”
The Stockmanship and Stewardship event is an educational experience for cattle producers featuring cattle handling demonstrations, educational sessions and more. The program is sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Merck Animal Health, and the Beef Checkoff-funded National Beef Quality Assurance program.
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Audio: Dave Sjeklocha