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Livestock

What you need to do…

The law requires you to assess and control risks from work activities so far as is reasonably practicable. Here we show how you can improve your livestock handling system and make it safer and more efficient. The key issues are:

What you need to know...

Handling cattle always involves a risk of injury. To reduce the risk of injury when handling cattle to you and your employees, as well as visitors such as vets, you should have:

You will find more about health and other hazards associated with livestock in Health problems in agriculture, Noise and vibration and Children and public safety.

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Cattle - what are the risks?

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Cattle - the race

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Cattle - the crush

A crush should allow you to do most straightforward tasks in safety (including oral treatments, ear tagging and work from the rear end). It should:

For specialised tasks, such as belly or foot trimming,  you will need a purpose-designed crush with adequate restraint and enough room to work safely.

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Other equipment

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Keeping bulls

Accidents, some of them fatal, happen every year because bulls are not treated with respect. Remember, a bull can kill you when he is being playful just as easily as when he is angry. Make sure you can handle your bull safely:

No one should ever enter the enclosure when the bull is loose.

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Preparing cattle for the abattoir

You may need to handle animals to clean or clip them before they go to slaughter, with the risk of injury. Follow the advice on handling facilities, and consider whether you can:

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has produced advice on the husbandry systems farmers can adopt to keep cattle clean. Clean beef cattle for slaughter: A guide for producers (FSA/0951/1104) is available free from FSA Publications, Tel: 0845 606 0667 or their website. Putting these systems in place will reduce the need to clean cattle before they leave the farm.

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Sheep and pigs

Resources

2013-02-28