GFM Network News


Calves that are transported properly will quickly get onto feed and water even when they’ve been hauled from Alberta to his feedlot in Ontario, says cattle buyer Ken Schaus.

New rest-break rule a challenge for eastern buyers

But reviewing the rules is a good thing because cattle transport is being scrutinized, says veteran cattle buyer

New transportation regulations that cut maximum time cattle can be confined in a transport trailer could have a major impact on buyers such as Ken Schaus. The 48-hour limit is being cut to 36 hours under the new rules (although there’s a two-year transition period which started Feb. 20 when the regulations came into effect). […] Read more

Cattle buyer Ken Schaus insists that 30 square bales — never any less — be used to bed a trailer so calves have good footing and stay dry.

Attention to the details pays dividends when transporting cattle

It’s a long haul from Alberta to Ontario, but cattle arrive in good shape when things are done right

Producers don’t often think about what happens to their cattle after they leave the farm, and the cheque is in the bank. But with more public focus — and new rules — on how animals are transported, it’s worthwhile to have a better understanding of what happens (or doesn’t) after your cattle are loaded on […] Read more


Grace period for livestock transport regulations

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says producers can contact it if they have questions about the federal livestock transport regulations. The new rules come into effect on Feb. 20, but the CFIA has granted a two-year transition period on the feed, water, and rest interval provisions for the livestock sector. In a statement, the food inspection […] Read more

These animals will weigh less at the end of their journey. But how much weight they lose will depend on how they were treated.

You need to think about shrink long before the transport truck arrives

Training your cattle to stay calm and properly preparing them for the stress of transport pays big dividends

Practising low-stress handling techniques has its benefits — it may actually help reduce shrink during transportation. “It’s about how we set animals up to interact with humans — any time you interact with them you’re training them how to respond and what to expect from humans,” said Christy Goldhawk who did her doctorate work on […] Read more


The lowdown on how buyers calculate shrink

‘Pencil shrink’ is actually designed to make the system fair and no buyer wants to see excessive shrink


What is shrink? And how is it calculated? “Actual shrink can be made up of two components,” said Sheldon Wilcox, manager at Direct Livestock Marketing in Edmonton. “One is gut fill (sometimes called excretory shrink) — which is the feed and water the animal consumes. The second one is tissue shrink.” Read more: Think about […] Read more

New rules limit livestock travel time

Comments can be made until Feb. 15

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations: Part XII which deals with humane transportation. The most significant change would limit travel time to 36 hours (from 48 hours previously) and also increase the rest time (to eight hours). The agency says it has also […] Read more


Federal research scientist Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein found that cattle begin displaying signs of stress after 28 to 30 hours in transport.

Beef sector questions need for transport rules changes

Officials fear new rules will favour public concerns over scientific evidence

The beef industry is bracing for changes to cattle transport regulations, fearing they might be based on perceptions rather than sound science. Current rules require animals be off-loaded after 48 hours of transport for a minimum of five hours and provided with feed and water, unless they can reach their destination within 52 hours. The […] Read more

The hog sector knows it’s under scrutiny and has “made significant strides in improving our level of animal care and husbandry,” says the chair of Western Hog Exchange.

Fewer downers being shipped, says hog exchange

An undercover video showing abuse has prompted widespread changes at the hog assembly yard

The Red Deer hog assembly yard at the heart of animal abuse allegations almost two years ago has seen industry-wide improvements in animal handling. “Since the Mercy for Animals incident, we have made significant strides in improving our level of animal care and husbandry,” said Brent Moen, chair of the Western Hog Exchange. “And I […] Read more


The Western Hog Exchange has seen a sharp drop in unfit hogs being shipped since launching a zero-tolerance policy.

Crackdown on shipping unfit animals working

The Western Hog Exchange now seeing far less downers, 
but officials say even a few are too many

A crackdown on shipping unfit animals is paying off, says the chairman of the Western Hog Exchange. “I don’t have the statistics to back it up, but the general consensus is that we have seen a significant improvement in the animals coming to the plants,” Brent Moen said in an interview. The Red Deer hog […] Read more