Cattle expert is key guest at Beef Expo 2008

Farmers who attend Beef Expo 2008 will be able to listen to Professor Temple Grandin from the US, who is acknowledged as the world's expert on cattle behaviour and handling systems.

Beef farmers from across the UK who attend Beef Expo 2008 at the Perth Agriculture Centre in Scotland on 21 May will be able to listen to Professor Temple Grandin from the USA - who is acknowledged as the world's expert on cattle behaviour and handling systems.

Professor Grandin will demonstrate that improved handling systems will not just introduce much-needed improvements in operator safety and animal welfare, but will also highlight how the beef sector can save millions of pounds by cutting back on labour. Speaking at the invitation of the National Beef Association, Professor Grandin will be giving practical demonstrations at Beef Expo 2008, using equipment provided by David Ritchie (Implements) and American Squeeze Crush Systems.

She will also co-ordinate an on-farm demonstration, using the cattle handling system provided by Ballathie Estate, Kinclaven, in Perthshire when it is visited during a pre-event farm tour on 20 May.

"Professor Grandin is respected globally for her far-sighted practical work on cattle behaviour and handling and I am sure that every beef farmer in the country would welcome the chance to listen to her first-hand advice and have a chance to follow it up with questions," said NBA director Kim Haywood.

"Most beef businesses list labour, which accounts for up to 18% of cost, as their second-highest input after feedstuffs and with good stockmen in extremely short supply, her knowledge on how to reduce labour input and cut back time taken in routine cattle-handling is invaluable."

She added: "Professor Grandin can show how the vaccination of 40 energetic store cattle can be reduced to just one hour, which represents a saving of £1 per head.

"She will also provide farmers with good practical tips for routine handling procedures needed for tagging, weighing, worming, blood sampling, TB testing, pregnancy scanning, and loading stock for sale or slaughter.

"And she will demonstrate beyond doubt that, as well as saving time, a good handling system reduces animal and operator stress, while also helping to cut back on income reduction through penalties on dark cutting meat or injury to both stockmen and to animals.

"One of her recommendations is the adoption of curved chutes and race systems. Farmers who want to know why she is so certain these are necessary should come to Beef Expo 2008 at Perth on 21 May and hear her ideas for themselves," Haywood continued.

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