2018 Highlights and Deliverables



The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. Our mandate is to

  • determine and communicate the Canadian beef cattle industry’s research and development priorities, and
  • administer the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funds that have been assigned by producers to research

The BCRC invites and funds projects and initiatives that have the greatest potential to benefit the sustainability and competitiveness of Canada’s beef industry. The BCRC is led by a committee of beef producers who proportionally represent each province’s research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off.

2018 has been a transition year for the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) in terms of both funding and program administration. An increase in the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off from $1 to $2.50 per head in most provinces and revised allocations to research has grown the BCRC’s research budget from approximately 15 cents to Continue reading

Lost profits: Injection site lesions cost the industry $1.63 million: New Videos



Injection site lesions visible on the carcass surface have increased to nearly 14% of non-fed cattle and 8% of fed cattle. Even in areas that are inches away from injection sites can result in tissue damage causing tougher meat and lower eating quality. As a result, injection site lesions cost the industry $0.56/head or $1.63 million in 2016. That’s up considerably from 0.21/head or $662,951 in 2011.

What do you need to know?



Animals should be properly restrained to ensure the safety of both yourself and the animal. This will also give greater access to the neck area to improve delivery accuracy and reduce the risk of broken needles.

Use subcutaneous (below the skin) when possible versus intermuscular (into the muscle) when administering injections. Intermuscular injections generate a greater risk of developing a reaction to the treatment and can create injection abscesses and bruising. Continue reading

Q&A on conventional production of Canadian Beef

Do growth promoting, antimicrobial or other veterinary drugs affect the food safety of Canadian beef?



Veterinary drugs are regulated by the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations. All veterinary drugs go through a Health Canada approval process before they are licensed for use.  The Health Canada Veterinary Drug Directorate (VDD) evaluates and monitors the safety, quality and effectiveness, and sets standards for the use of veterinary drugs to ensure that, when used according to label directions, they are safe for both animals and humans.

For a more detailed explanation of the veterinary drug approval process in Canada, download ‘Canada’s Veterinary Drug Approval Process

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Label and veterinary directions indicate proper administration doses and routes for veterinary products, as well as pre-slaughter withdrawal times, which ensure that the product has been metabolized by the animal before the meat is harvested. Most drugs are completely metabolized during the prescribed minimum number of days between the last administration of the drug and slaughter, and therefore leave no residue. Continue reading

JGL Livestock Offers Dedicated VBP+ Buying Days



Order buying firm JGL Livestock is setting aside two days this fall to feature dedicated cattle buying sessions for cattle from Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) Registered cow-calf operations. This represents the first time cattle procurement or sales outlets have focused marketing efforts on VBP+ cattle.

JGL will offer two weigh days for cattle from VBP+ Registered operations – October 17, 2018 and November 14, 2018 at their buying station in Moose Jaw, Sask. If the cattle are shipped to and fed at VBP+ Registered feedlots JGL will guarantee the cattle are ultimately harvested at the High River Cargill plant. In turn, those cattle could be eligible for the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration (CBSA) pilot project. Continue reading

AgriClear Announces Collaboration with Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+)

New relationship will promote VBP+ Canadian cattle via web-based platform


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April 5, 2017 (CALGARY) – AgriClear, North America’s premier online transaction and payment platform for cattle buyers and sellers, today announced it is entering into a collaborative marketing agreement with Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+), a national, industry-led program providing verification of Canadian beef production practices at the farm, ranch and feedlot.

Formerly Verified Beef Production or VBP, VBP+ is delivered nationally under the umbrella of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Beef Cattle Research Council. Validating production practices for animal care, biosecurity, the environment and food safety at the primary production level enables registered VBP+ operations to publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible stewardship of both cattle and resources. Under the terms of this agreement, AgriClear will include VBP+ registered users on its online platform and VBP+ will promote the AgriClear livestock platform and settlement services to beef cattle producers across Canada. AgriClear and VBP+ have also agreed to work together on marketing initiatives.

“This new agreement connects us to Continue reading

Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) Launches New National Website

News Release
March 28, 2017


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Today the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program officially launches their new website, a single-stop comprehensive resource for all matters related to VBP+. Located at verifiedbeefproductionplus.ca, the new website offering reflects the progression of VBP+ towards national program management and delivery.

The website houses a wealth of information for consumers and retailers and is a great resource for Canadian beef cattle producers. Information on topics such as VBP+ on-line training, the 5 easy steps for getting on the program, as well as detailed information on VBP+ modules for animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship are all easily accessed through simplified navigation on the website.

The ‘Producer Resources’ section houses a gold mine of downloads, articles, links, and videos for those wanting to get onto VBP+ or those beef operations already on the program wanting more information.

Enriched features of the website include Continue reading

Verified Beef Production Plus Program officially launched

NEWS RELEASE
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June 15, 2016

Calgary, AB – After months of hearing about the benefits of the Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program, producers can now see for themselves how validating their sustainable production practices provides opportunity to proactively share their stories with consumers and beef retailers.

Officially launched today, the new, national VBP+ program includes Continue reading

Q&A on conventional production of Canadian beef

Updated with additional links July 4, 2018

Do growth promoting, antimicrobial or other veterinary drugs affect the food safety of Canadian beef?

Veterinary drugs are regulated by the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations. All veterinary drugs go through a Health Canada approval process before they are licensed for use.  The Health Canada Veterinary Drug Directorate (VDD) evaluates and monitors the safety, quality and effectiveness, and sets standards for the use of veterinary drugs to ensure that, when used according to label directions, they are safe for both animals and humans.

For a more detailed explanation of the veterinary drug approval process in Canada, visit Continue reading

Bruising and injection sites: Canada’s Beef Carcass Quality Audit

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted with permission.



The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association carried out its first carcass quality audit in 1995. The defects identified in that audit became the focus of the CCA’s Quality Starts Here program. Dr. Joyce van Donkersgoed went on to teach Canada’s cattle producers how they could improve carcass value through better cattle handling and facilities, moving injection sites from the hindquarters to the shoulder, and using products that could be injected subcutaneously (under the skin) rather than intramuscularly (in the muscle) whenever possible. A follow-up audit was carried out in 1999 to measure the progress made in response to the Quality Starts Here program. Plans to repeat the audit were postponed as a result of BSE, but Canada’s third beef quality audit was completed recently. This column is focused on surface injection site lesions and bruises in fed cattle.

Visible surface injection site lesions and bruises are trimmed from the carcass and discarded. This costs producers because it reduces carcass pay weight, and costs packers because surrounding cuts are often damaged. Continue reading

Horns and brands: Canada’s beef carcass quality audit

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted with permission.



Quality audits can identify the most costly defects that impact carcass value, and help to track changes in carcass quality over time. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association carried out its first carcass quality audit in 1995. The defects identified in that audit became the focus of the CCA’s Quality Starts Here program, and Dr. Joyce van Donkersgoed spent a lot of time educating cattle producers about how to improve carcass quality and value by dehorning calves early and moving brands from the rib to the hip or shoulder. A follow-up audit was carried out in 1999 to measure the progress made in response to the Quality Starts Here program. Plans to repeat the audit were postponed as a result of BSE, but Canada’s third beef quality audit was completed recently. This column gives a quick overview of how the carcass quality audit was conducted, and some of the key findings relevant to cow-calf operators. Continue reading