A Kansas State University professor recently chaired an international animal health committee to develop beef cattle production and welfare standards worldwide.
Dan Thomson, K-State's Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology in the department of clinical sciences, traveled to Paris, France, in late July to chair the OIE Beef Cattle Production and Animal Welfare committee. Beef cattle production and international beef trading is important to the economic base of many developed and developing countries. Thomson said the purpose of this committee was to bring people from diverse cattle production backgrounds to create one set of standards for beef cattle production and welfare to serve the needs of all countries.
The committee included animal welfare experts from Uraguay, Kenya, Australia, China and Ireland as well as OIE experts.
"OIE is the World organization for animal health," Thomson said. "It represents 174 countries around the world on issues such as animal health and disease control. The OIE has decided to include animal welfare as one of its interests." He said the OIE's mission and international scope for animal health is equivalent to the World Health Organization's mission for human health.
"This is the first time the OIE has put together standards for animal care and welfare," said Clayton Huseman, executive director of the feedyard division of the Kansas Livestock Association. "They are internationally recognized in international trade and countries look to them for animal health information. What the committee comes up with has a huge impact on the countries they represent. It is really good to know we have a Kansan leading that charge. I have confidence in Dan's scientific knowledge and more importantly his knowledge of how modern production agriculture works in the U.S."
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