When working with animals on farms, you need to identify common hazards and have appropriate controls in place says New Zealand’s leading farm consultants, AgSafe NZ.
Working with animals can be dangerous, farmers can easily be injured by livestock. “Farm animals such as cattle, pigs, horses, deer and sheep are unpredictable and should be treated with caution at all times,” says Jim Findlay, Rural Consultant for AgSafe New Zealand Ltd.
“Trying to lift or push animals can result in injury and certain animals may also transmit diseases. Make sure you always have a plan for any task with an animal that has an escape route, and get help if you need it,” advises Jim.
When working with farm animals it is important to always wear suitable protective clothing and use proper animal-handling facilities and aids such as cradles and crushes.
Ensure that yards and fences are well planned and properly maintained. “Schedule a regular inspection of all your animal-handling areas to look for hazards or things that needed to be repaired. Look for things such as broken fences, worn or deficient gate latches, or restraining equipment not working, says Jim.
When animals become over-excited, frightened or alarmed and, they become dangerous. The danger signs of agitated cattle are that they will often bellow loudly and paw the ground with their hooves.
By giving them time to settle down, they’ll be a lot calmer and safer to work with. This is especially pertinent when they’ve just been moved into the yards.
Cattle also have good memories. They learn very quickly and they soon work out who frightens them and who treats them well.
Don’t forget that your voice is a useful cattle handling tool. Good farmers use their voices to calm and soothe. And most importantly, your voice lets the cattle know where you are.
Contact AgSafe NZ Ltd:
Phone: 0274 587 724