Whether for trucking off pasture or to the sale barn, following the basics of beef quality assurance (BQA) for transportation will ensure that cattle are in the best condition when arriving at their next location. In this article we follow the outline from the BQA Master Transporter Guide and focus on the farm truck and trailer instead of semi-tractor trailer.
Whereas BQA generally covers topics from feed to pharmaceuticals to animal welfare, the primary emphasis when applying BQA to transportation is on ensuring animal welfare. Transporting cattle where they have had free movement on a nonmoving surface can be very unsettling. This increases stress, bruising and even injury. Preventing the conditions that lead to these issues is the farmer’s and the trucker’s responsibility.
Gathering cattle at the end of the season is rewarding work. These cattle are the fruits of your labor. How they are handled during transport is your responsibility and is your demonstration to the consumer that you are committed to the highest standards of animal welfare. This is the essence of BQA – not just about doing things right, but about doing the right thing.