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Livestock safety

September 1, 2012

Farm animals can present real dangers to farmers, ranchers and their families. The National Safety Council recommends the following steps to mitigate those risks when handling livestock:

  • Label livestock handling areas to keep visitors away.
  • Design all livestock facilities to allow workers easy access.
  • Equip pens with emergency exits.
  • Keep children and visitors out of livestock handling areas.
  • Be sure fences, gates and pens are in good repair and that restraining equipment is functioning properly.

Further, understanding animals’ instincts can help prepare you for some unexpected reactions:

  • Changes in lighting or shadows can spook animals, as can sudden or loud noises.
  • Animals can behave unpredictably when separated from other animals.
  • Many types of livestock – including beef cattle, swine and dairy cattle – are color-blind and have poor depth perception, making them sensitive to noise and contrasts in light and movement.