UMASH Success Story: Low Stress Animal Handling

UMASH Success Story: Low Stress Animal Handling

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THE PROBLEM:

A major source of anxiety for the cow or the pig is people. Stressed cattle and pigs are more difficult to handle and this puts workers at an increased risk of injury.

Much of an animal’s anxiety comes from how they are handled. Studies have shown cows handled by an aversive handler had reduced milk efficiency compared to cows with gentle handlers.

The workforce includes many workers with no experience with farm animals and no proper training. Animals learn to recognize individuals and can distinguish between those who treat them gently and those who do not.

THE SOLUTION:

UMASH collaborated with dairy and swine faculty at the University of Minnesota to produce educational materials related to stockmanship or low stress handling.  The bilingual (English and Spanish) resources include 5 short videos demonstrating the techniques used in positive animal handling.

Additional education resources include, fact sheets, barn posters and training guides for producers to use with employees. These training tools have been well received by producers, veterinarians and businesses who service the farmer and qualify as training for the National FARM Dairy Program Animal Care Version 4.0.