Cargill processes dairy cattle for meat and by-products that are purchased via auctions and other channels in the marketplace. Cargill also purchases dairy ingredients, the details of which are available here.
Humane handling on the farm
In the U.S., Cargill supports the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management program, which is a set of guidelines for dairy farmers.
Cargill supports the Dairy Farmers of Canada and their ProAction Initiative. Also, in Canada, Cargill conducts CowSignals training programs for dairy farmers to help them analyze environmental and health factors that affect their cows’ comfort, milk production and longevity. This year, we expanded our involvement from Canada to the U.S., as well. To date, we have trained more than 30 master trainers and advisors for the program. With their help, groups of local farmers have participated in more than 300 sessions on topics ranging from stall spacing and animal bedding to hoof trimming and nutrition.
More than 80% of the dairy cattle Cargill processes in North America are not subjected to tail docking. Cargill forecasts that this percentage will increase as applicable federal, state and provincial regulations, which are aligned with industry groups, move toward ending tail docking.
Humane handling at processing
The activities described in the beef section also apply to dairy cattle.
Greater than 90% of the dairy cattle Cargill processes in North America are transported from point- of-origin to destination in less than eight hours. This is significantly lower than the regulatory maximum which is 28 hours in transit.
Dairy cattle processed by Cargill in Canada and Australia also meet the transportation regulation requirements for those nations – 36 hours for Canada and 48 hours for Australia.
Industry standards and guidelines
The standards and guidelines outlined for Cargill’s beef cattle processing also apply to dairy cattle.
In the United States, our processing plants comply with USDA regulations, which include the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, the Humane Slaughter of Livestock Act and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Directive on the Humane Handling and Slaughter of Livestock. In Canada, our processing plants comply to the Canada’s Health of Animal Regulations (HAR) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) requirements outlined in the Safe Food for Canadians regulations.
Each of our North American processing plants have government employed veterinarians and inspection staff, and they, along with our PAACO certified auditors and trained employees, oversee the on-site health, quality and handling of the animals we process. Government personnel audit our processes, documentation and training records to ensure compliance.