Written protocols should be in place and reviewed annually with your veterinarian and employees to ensure that certain procedures are carried out appropriately.
To safely/humanely move and handle down cattle, to increase their chances of recovery, and to minimize their pain and suffering.
How to Assess:
Review the non-ambulatory cattle protocol to confirm that the following information is included and that appropriate criteria are being met:
- The animal will be moved in accordance with AABP guidelines
- Method for moving must be detailed
- Non-ambulatory cattle will not be dragged by the head or any limb, or hit, kicked, or beaten with any object
- Ambulatory animals must be removed from the immediate area
- Non-ambulatory animals that are severely suffering must be euthanized immediately
- Down animals must be housed in a clean pen that provides shade and shelter from poor weather, and must have access to fresh feed and water throughout the day
- Animals will be treated according to farm protocol
- Signed by VOR
When this protocol is assessed, any down cows must also be checked for hydration to ensure sufficient water access.
A template is provided as a guideline; farms may write their own as long as minimum content is met.
National Dairy FARM Program
- A sled or loader must be used to move the non-ambulatory animal to a designated area away from other healthy animals
- Prompt medical care will be provided
- Access to food, water, shelter/shade at all times, isolation from other animals, and protection from predators
- Euthanasia in a timely manner if warranted
- Personnel must be trained in moving non-ambulatory animals
- Proper equipment must be available to move non-ambulatory animals of all sizes
- Must be large enough for animals to be moved without any body contact with the ground while in transit
- Animals being treated must be evaluated in 3 days to determine if treatment should be altered or if euthanasia should be considered