Emergencies on Livestock Farms (PB1147)

Welfare in Livestock Buildings

33 In any structure housing farm animals provision should be made for the animals to be released and evacuated in an emergency. If this is not possible, for example, in intensive poultry systems, alarms should react instantly and trained staff should be available in time to deal with the emergency. Provision should also be made for fire extinguishers, telephones, and safety equipment.

Animal welfare aspects should be built into the design on new structures housing farm animals and also in the modification of existing livestock houses.

  • All of the equipment that farm animals come into contact with inside a livestock house must be designed, sited, installed and maintained so as to avoid risk of injury or distress.
  • All must have access to a lying area which is well drained or well maintained with dry bedding. Lactating dairy cows and cows which are calving must always be given bedding. Livestock should also have shelter from the sun and wind.
  • Farmers should maintain animal housing and ensure that structural failure does not occur because of (amongst other things) age, subsidence, high winds, floods, lightening strike and vandalism
  • Slippery floors are a common hazard to the welfare of stock, particularly in dairy units. There are now designs of grooves for the concrete capable of minimising the risk
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  • Please remember that, if you run an intensive livestock farming system which depends on specialised buildings and complex mechanical and electrical equipment, then a high level of technical and managerial skills will be required to ensure that husbandry and animal welfare requirements are met
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