How does IFAC work?

IFAC is for both farmers and non-farmers; if you want to learn more about veterinary science-based livestock care, or if you know farmers needing some help regarding farm animal care, click here or call the 1-800-252-0577 Help Line.

IFAC accepts calls and questions about most types of farm animals including pigs, cattle, dairy, turkey and chickens and makes sure that animal-specific issues are handled by appropriate experts.

An experienced, trained Executive Director confidentially answers questions and provides access to resources when necessary. In the event there is a concern about marginal farm animal care they will determine the most appropriate course of action.

In these cases, the person reporting the concern is required to identify themselves to assist in follow up and to help ensure that the calls are legitimate. The Executive Director asks a series of questions to gain a thorough understanding of the concern. All information about the call, including the name of the caller, the nature of the concern and the outcome are kept confidential with IFAC.

When the Executive Director determines that an on-farm evaluation is warranted, they call on the animal owner in question and describe the concern that has been delivered to IFAC. The Executive Director offers to have an independent team of experts from Iowa State University's Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture & Life Sciences who specialize in animal care perform an on-farm evaluation. Their role is to determine if appropriate care is being given, and provide the animal owner with a report describing their findings and recommendations.

All on-farm evaluations are voluntarily hosted by the animal owner since IFAC has no legal authority.

Who can use the IFAC web site or help line?

IFAC was created to provide information to people who have specific questions about farm animal care, or farmers who may need guidance or assistance meeting the latest veterinary science-proven standards of animal care.

Is there a cost to use IFAC or the Helpline?

There are no fees associated with IFAC.

What doesn't IFAC cover?

  • All questions regarding companion animals, including horses should be referred to local Animal Control for the county in which the animals are located. If this cannot be identified, people may wish to contact Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
  • Please note for farm animal care emergencies: all concerns regarding farm animal care emergencies should be directed to local law enforcement authorities.

What kind of issues can be addressed through the IFAC program?

IFAC will address questions ranging from general animal care practices or requests for more information on an animal care issue to reporting a concern regarding animal care taking place at a specific farm.