Read the latest on these important industry issues for Alberta livestock producers.

Grazing Lease Management During Drought

The severity of drought conditions, particularly in Southern Alberta, will affect grazing options for livestock producers. These three fact sheets provide landowners with information on rangeland health and litter reserves.

Code of Practice For Care and Handling of Beef Cattle

The ABP supports responsible animal care and handling. The booklet "Recommended code of practice for the care and handling of farm animals: Beef cattle edition" outlines the key elements of all aspects of animal care and handling throughout the beef industry chain of production. Free copies of the booklet are available by contacting the ABP office or you can Download it Here.

Should I transport this animal?

Recognizing when an animal may be transported, transported with special provisions directly to a veterinarian or to an abattoir, or is unfit for transport, is important to ensure the best standards of animal care.

Humane Handling Guidelines for Beef Cattle

Animal Transport Record Fillable Form

VBP+ Transfer of Care Document

Use this Decision Tree and the advice of your veterinarian to determine when it is acceptable to transport an animal.

If an animal is unfit for transport, it may be salvageable through on-farm emergency slaughter. There are currently two available options to ensure the humane treatment of animals and alignment with the provincial Meat Inspection Act.

Inspected Meat

To qualify as “Inspected Meat,” an appointed meat inspector (usually a veterinarian) must preform an ante-mortem inspection of the animal prior to emergency slaughter (humane stunning and bleeding) at the farm or feedlot. The carcass must then be transported, in a manner that protects it from contamination or spoilage, to a Provincially Licensed Abattoir for evisceration and further processing. The carcass must be delivered to the abattoir within two hours of slaughter and receive a post-mortem (PM) inspection. The PM inspection can be done by either the appointed inspector or by a Meat Inspection Branch Inspector. Once approved, the product is stamped as inspected and is then legal to sell. Note that the appropriate forms must be completed by the appointed inspector on farm or feedlot and these forms will need to accompany the carcass to the licensed facility. Professional fees to engage an appointed inspector are at the discretion of the provider.

Uninspected Meat

Only the animal owner and their direct household can consume this meat. It is illegal to sell uninspected meat. In this case, a licenced mobile butcher or the owner at the farm or feedlot can slaughter the animal. The carcass can then be transported to a facility to be processed. It must arrive clean and free from contamination. The processor is required to keep the carcass separate from any inspected products and mark it as “UNINSPECTED NOT FOR SALE.” 
For more information about emergency on-farm slaughter, including a list of appointed inspectors, abattoirs, and mobile butchers in your area, contact the following regional meat inspection offices: Airdrie 403-948-8514, Edmonton/Grande Prairie 780-427-7011, Vermilion 780-853 8113 and Lethbridge 403-382-4261, or toll-free by first dialing 310-0000. 

Video Ante-Mortem Inspection (VAMI)

The VAMI program allows for an ante-mortem inspection by video for animals that cannot be transported to an abattoir so that they may be humanely slaughtered on site.


Species that can be slaughtered under the VAMI program are limited to domestic livestock including beef and dairy cattle, bison, cervids, hogs, sheep, lamb and goats. VAMI can be performed only under the following circumstances:

  • an animal is unfit for transport
  • an animal is compromised and cannot be transported without resulting in additional suffering
  • an animal is difficult to transport (in other words, it cannot be loaded or transported without endangering itself, another animal, or a person)
  • an animal has escaped (provided they are contained in order for a suitable video ante-mortem inspection to be performed)
  • any other circumstances prescribed and published by the Director

More information is available at

Livestock Disposal

Handling Deadstock

Pros and cons of five different livestock disposal methods, along with directions on how to properly compost deadstock can be found at

Livestock Biosecurity

Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) can have a devastating effect on the health and welfare of livestock and on the economic viability of livestock operations. The Canadian Cattlemen's Association Biosecurity Standard and Implementation Manual can be found here:

Cattle Wintering Sites - Managing for Good Stewardship

Assessment and Design Tool: A Guide to Selecting and Managing a Wintering Site in Western Canada
Developed in cooperation with Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and PFRA. View the PDF document at Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development. Copies are available free of charge for Alberta cattle producers from the ABP office. 

Emergency Preparedness

As a rural Albertan you need to protect your animals from risks posed by natural disasters and other emergencies including: collapsed barns, extreme weather, flooding, and dehydration. Download the PDF Preparedness pamphlet. Preparing the Alberta Beef Sector for Disease-Related Sector-Wide EmergenciesWhile emergencies are nearly impossible to predict, there are things you can do to minimize the impact. The producer handbook below has been developed to help producers plan, prepare, and respond to disease-related events that create a sector-wide emergency. We all have a role to play in protecting and strengthening our industry. As industry experts, with boots in the dirt, producers and their staff are the first line of defence in an emergency situation. Download the Producer Handbook Watch the video on AFAC large animal emergency rescue