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Kansas State University advances research and education outreach to address fatigued cattle syndrome

Thursday, June 9, 2016 


MANHATTAN — Two Kansas State University beef cattle researchers are developing a prevention program for fatigued cattle syndrome. The syndrome, which has the potential to cause mobility issues in feedlot cattle stressed during the end of the feeding period, was identified through research at the university in 2014 that was funded by a grant from Merck Animal Health.

The identification of fatigued cattle syndrome, also known as FCS, is significant for producers, nutritionists, veterinarians and packing plant personnel — really anyone who works with cattle — because it brings to light multiple factors that can impact cattle movement.

To address the issue, Kansas State University's Dan Thomson and Chris Reinhardt, are developing a prevention program that will feature educational modules, training videos and handouts to assist feedlots, transporters and packers in the identification and management of fatigued cattle syndrome. Merck Animal Health will help support this educational program. Thomson is the Jones professor of production medicine and epidemiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Reinhardt is a professor of animal sciences and industry and a K-State Research Extension feedlot specialist.

"We are committed to helping the beef industry find ways to continually enhance the preparation of cattle for transportation from the feed yard to the harvest floor," said John Hutcheson, director of ruminant nutrition at Merck Animal Health. "By supporting initiatives focused on animal well-being, we are helping to further expand our knowledge base on animal handling, helping make good practices better, providing relevant information and training, supporting the needs of producers and contributing to the industry's continuous improvement efforts."

"We appreciate the significant commitment that Merck Animal Health is making to this important education initiative," Thomson said. "This support allows the research to be translated into education for FCS prevention. Providing a platform for education on FCS enables the beef industry to utilize our online training programs to improve communication throughout the food animal production chain, maintain our focus on cattle health and well-being, and enhance the safety of cattle and the people working with the animals."

Philanthropic contributions to Kansas State University are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The KSU Foundation was established in 1944 as the official fundraising arm of the university. It is a separate, independent entity chartered by the state of Kansas as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit education corporation. The foundation is leading Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University to raise $1 billion for student success, faculty development, facility enhancement and programmatic success.


Marisa Larson

At a glance

With support from Merck Animal Health, two Kansas State University beef cattle researchers will develop a prevention program, featuring educational modules, handouts and more, to address fatigued cattle syndrome.