(Photo: General Manager Maximiliano Gutierrez in the presentation of the welfare summit)
Buenos Aires, September 24th. Last week, the animal health company Boehringer – Ingelhelm presented the state of the art of its program on animal welfare in Argentina. “The ultimate goal is to link consumers with producers”, Business Unit Head-Ruminants, Ignacio Lucero Torres explained to the assistants, “because every day the consumer is most committed with animal welfare”.
Boehringer-Ingelhelm promotes a protocol on animal welfare for feedlots, dairy farms, and cow-calf farms, certified by Control Union; the protocol is based on 20 points but the continues improving is the final goal of this program. When a farm decides to enter into the program, a team of professionals lands on the farm and work side by side with the rancher to analyze every critical point in the production process. After 60 to 90 days, the team returns the farmer a guide of recommendations to implement in the ranch. Those recommendations will be audited by the certifier.
But, what is the benefit of this certification? Torres explained that a program on animal welfare reduces invisible losses to the rancher, improving the productivity of the rodeo or reducing losses at the slaughter plant. A healthy breeding, reducing the exposition of the rodeo to stress factors or eliminating bad treatments improve the livestock production.
Currently, seven farm companies have concluded with the pilot phase of the program, some of them the feedlot Conecar, based at Carcarañá City in Santa Fe Province, and San José Oeste, a cow-calf operation and feedlot in Olavarria, Buenos Aires Province.
“In the future, it will be impossible to export beef without a welfare protocol implemented”, consultant Jorge Romero told to the audience. “Asia is the large promising market, where China heads the demand for quality premium beef”, adds.
“But it’s necessary to create a critical mass of certified production to improve the Argentine beef for the world”, Diego Cylluso from Control Union, concluded.