There are many benefits — both for the cattle and those working with them — to using humane handling practices on your operation. Not only will it reduce stress on the animals, but it’ll help make sure you and your employees stay safe, too.

The Gold Standards III recommend the following practices for proper handling of calves and older heifers:

  • Handle all cattle as gently as possible and work to keep them calm at all times. Minimize noise level — no yelling or screaming when moving cattle.
  • Handling aids only should be used when absolutely necessary, and then only by trained employees.
  • Never strike an animal.
  • Establish and demonstrate written and signed protocols for employees regarding acceptable and unacceptable cattle-handling practices; review quarterly.
  • Establish a zero-tolerance policy for animal abuse, indicating automatic employee dismissal for inappropriate animal handling.
  • Provide extra attention to animals that are sick and/or immobile.
    • Immediately move sick animals to an isolation pen.
    • Observe sick animals frequently throughout the day.
    • If an animal is unable to walk, it should be moved only with a cart or sled.
    • Care should be provided according to the prescribed directions of the herd veterinarian.

Read the Gold Standards III in their entirety.