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Livestock Safety

Jill Webster Ph.D., Utah State University


One of the most important issues for consideration when handling livestock is safety. Although considered domesticated animals, working with livestock carries with it an inherent risk of danger. It is important to understand that livestock have both instincts and habits, known as behavior patterns, that are based on actions that make them the most comfortable. These instincts and habits allow them to react to changes in their environment. Many instincts and habits are strong and potentially dangerous. Using common sense, practicing caution, and understanding livestock behavior can greatly reduce a handlers risk and enable him or her to work safely with livestock. This article will detail some important livestock behaviors as well as cautionary tips to practice when handling livestock.