Symposium Paper: Transportation issues affecting cattle well-being and considerations for the future11Presented at the Cattle Transportation Symposium sponsored by the Beef Checkoff Program, National Cattlemens Beef Association, and Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colorado, May 2015. Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists The goal of this beef checkoff sponsored symposium was to provide clarity regarding cattle well-being, research, the current state of the industry, and the future of cattle transportation in North America. In today's marketing programs, feeder calves might be transported as many as 6 times. Loading conditions, time in transit, weather conditions, commingling, segregation of different sexes and weight classes into separate trailer compartments, driver experience, animal nutrition, health status, and physical condition are all factors to be considered when transporting cattle. Transportation related live weight loss (shrink) is not only attributed to loss of gut fill but also tissue loss, which can exceed 60% of total BW loss. High ambient temperature and rough handling of cattle significantly increase the amount of shrink incurred by cattle. If following best management practices could result in a 1% decrease in shrink among the feeder cattle shipped at least once in the United States, the economic benefit would exceed $325 million dollars. The beef industry needs to create a cattle transporter quality assurance program that incorporates sound research data, development of robust guidelines for animal handling, education of cattle transportation employees, and implementation of an online database specifically for individuals who transport cattle.

published proceedings

  • The Professional Animal Scientist

altmetric score

  • 32.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K., Ahola, J., Edwards-Callaway, L., Hale, D., & Paterson, J.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Schwartzkopf-Genswein, Karen||Ahola, Jason||Edwards-Callaway, Lily||Hale, Dan||Paterson, John

publication date

  • December 2016