MANHATTAN, Kan. — One key component to preventing animal abuse is educating animal caregivers on downed animal care and humane euthanasia techniques. As a result, an online, non-ambulatory cattle management training program allowing tracking those people who have completed the training is now available in English and Spanish for animal caregivers on beef and dairy cattle operations (

Managed by the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University, the Animal Care Training Program was developed by beef and dairy cattle veterinarians, animal scientists, farmers and ranchers to aid the beef and dairy industries and provide 24-hour relevant training for animal caregivers.

How to care and treat downed animals are outlined in the online modules. Other modules can help producers gain knowledge on how to make the difficult decision on when to euthanize an animal. The modules recommended methods of how to euthanize animals are described and illustrated in accordance of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

“Animal abuse is not tolerated in our industry, protecting our animals from abuse starts with proper training of those caring for the animals,” says Dr. Dan Thomson, Jones Professor of Production Medicine and director of the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Care for downed animals and humane euthanasia are not pleasant. However, it is our responsibility to care for these animals and relieve their suffering in a professional manner with dignity for the animals that provide for us.

“Proper training of individuals caring for these animals is the responsibility of the farm or ranch,” he added. “The ability to verify or track the training is important to show that individuals received a standard or level of training to care for the animals. Also, if animal abuse occurs, the person was trained appropriately, but independently chose to act inappropriately.”

The American Association of Bovine Practitioners recently covered an animal abuse incident in Hart, Texas. The people who performed the willing acts of animal abuse on the calf ranch should be prosecuted and procedures need to be put in place to prevent these types of acts from happening in the future, the AABP stated. The incident was captured by undercover video and released to the public by a group called Mercy for Animals, which is calling for stricter legislation to prevent people from abusing animals.

Online training effectiveness has been documented in apeer-reviewed journal by animal science and veterinary faculty to improve farm, ranch or dairy employee knowledge base in areas such as downed animal care and euthanasia, regardless of language preference or experience.

“Certifying your employees in proper euthanasia and animal abuse avoidance shows your commitment to the best care you can provide for the cattle that you care for everyday,” said Ryan Ruppert, NCBA senior director, Beef Quality Assurance.

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