UBC Research Data

Veterinarian perceptions on the care of surplus dairy calves Hendricks, Jillian; Weary, Daniel; von Keyserlingk, Marina


This study investigated the perspectives of Canadian cattle veterinarians on the care and management of surplus calves, as well as how they view their role in improving care. We conducted 10 focus groups with a total of 45 veterinarians from 8 provinces across Canada. Recorded audio files were transcribed, anonymized, and coded using thematic analysis. We found that veterinarians approached surplus calf management issues from a wide lens, with 2 major themes emerging: (1) problematic aspects of surplus calf management, including colostrum management, transportation, and euthanasia, and suggested management and structural solutions, including ways to improve the economic value of these calves, and (2) the veterinarian’s role in advising dairy farmers on the care of surplus calves, including on technical issues, and more broadly working with farmers to better address public concerns.

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