“If someone who had no clue what a beef operation was like, what would they think about your operation and the way you care for your animals?” asked Jerry Stokka, a senior veterinarian for Pfizer Animal Health, at a recent meeting held in my hometown. “Our climate has changed, and we have to start thinking more about the end product and how our consumers view us."
Stokka's presentation featured three carcasses of animals that had been euthanized in a chronic stage after having previously been given several antibiotics and vaccinations. His purpose was to demonstrate how lesions occur at injection sites, ultimately sacrificing the quality of the meat. In his demonstration, he urged producers to consider Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) protocols to eliminate these injection-site issues.
BQA protocols address the use of feed additives, the administration of vaccines, the development of producer and veterinarian relationships and animal handling. These protocols are designed for producers to follow because animal handling and management impact end-product quality. Stokka used the euthanized cattle to illustrate what happens when producers don’t follow these protocols.
Stokka said that injection-site lesions typically looks like the muscle tissue has actually been burned. In posting the animals at the demonstration, producers were able to see the effects of such injections including: hardened modules, discolored tissue and extra fluids. The sight wasn’t pretty, but the message was loud and clear: producers need to follow the protocols to ensure beef quality.
“It’s not my intent to dissuade producers from using products to treat or prevent disease,” said Stokka in referencing the ugly lesions shown in the demonstration. “It’s my purpose to remind everyone to use the right type of product, administered the right way, and using clean needles. When given the right way and in the right location, we can really minimize the damage. And, perhaps we can even lessen the number of injections we need to make.”
Are you aware of the impacts of injection-site lesions? Do you practice BQA management protocols? Are you BQA certified? Did you know BQA is a beef checkoff funded program? Why do you think it's important? For more information on BQA, link here.
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