Production

New guide to low body condition

Beef Central, 24/02/2014

A new guide to help producers assess beef cattle in low body condition is now available.

Published by MLA and Cattle Council of Australia, the national guide provides an objective description system to assess beef cattle in low body condition and provides a timely tool to assist producers in managing drought-affected stock.

It includes a new, simplified Body Condition Score (BCS) system plus new classifications within the National Livestock Language.

The new system brings clarity and consistency to body condition scoring and ensures that everyone involved in the beef cattle industry can speak the same language, whether talking about southern or northern cattle, right across the country.

Traditional descriptions such as poor, backward and weak, which were previously not well defined, and often meant different things to different people, will also be replaced in the new system.

Cattle Council Animal Welfare Adviser Justin Toohey said the release of the guidelines was timely as they provided valuable guidance and intervention points for producers with drought-affected animals.

“The guidelines contain detailed illustrations and descriptions to help producers assess their animals, as well as practical advice for managing the animals’ feed and transport requirements to ensure the best animal welfare outcomes,” Justin said.

Producers across Australia will be able to use either the new Body Condition Score (BCS) system to describe beef cattle in low body condition, or the existing National Livestock Language – Cattle system (referred to as ‘Muscle Score Fat Score’ or ‘MS FS’).

BCS and MS FS are two independent description systems, however each classification has an equivalent in the other system.

Source: MLA/CCA. To download the guide click here

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