Humane Handling and respectful treatment of animals is an important part of our Mission. Above all, handling animals destined for harvest requires the utmost respect and gentle care to reduce and eliminate stress during all phases of the process starting with a pre- loading inspection of the condition and sanitation of each trailer and throughout transport. Upon arrival to our facility, livestock are provided fresh water, food and shelter. Bartels Farms has invested in setting up our livestock handling systems based on the recommendations of Dr. Temple Grandin, a designer of livestock handling facilities and a Professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University. They have built curved cattle chutes that support the natural behavior of cattle and improve handling efficiency, employee safety and stress reduction for each animal. Bartels Farms only allows trained personnel who have calm, quiet demeanors to handle the cattle, and are able to "read" an animal as it progresses through the corrals and loading chutes. As Dr. Temple Grandin notes, animals have a natural process of movement and respond cooperatively when shadows and loud noises are eliminated from their environment. Personnel are properly placed in relationship to each animal and move the "lead" animal through the chute, as it is instinctual for livestock to follow the animal in front of them and these techniques eliminate the use of force or electrical prods (which are prohibited at our facility) greatly reducing stress or anxiety for each animal. While in our possession, cattle are immediately sorted for size and disposition to avoid injury to smaller or weaker animals. The USDA monitors the handling practices and care of all animals that come into our possession and Bartels Farms' humane handling practices continue to receive high praise.
Bartels Farms also expects non-employee Livestock Transporters who bring livestock to our facility to review and abide by our Humane Handling practices and requires each transporter to sign an acknowledgment that is kept on file, validating their proof of knowledge of our Humane Handling expectations. They have also developed an Emergency Livestock Management Plan for unforeseen events or accidents outside of their control (natural disasters, harsh weather, etc.) to ensure Livestock remain protected at all times. A copy of all 4 Humane Handling Programs are available upon request.
Each year, two independent auditing firms conduct humane handling audits and Bartels Farms is proud to report a perfect score of 100%. In addition, the USDA randomly brings in veterinarians that specialize in humane handling practices to observe our treatment of livestock that have resulted in the highest score possible and a written comment from the USDA stating "our personnel and practices are the finest they've ever seen." We take great pride in how we handle and manage all animals in our vertically integrated system.