Emergencies on Livestock Farms (PB1147)

Preparations and Prevention

30 Farmers and their staff should be trained to handle an emergency. This includes dealing with, road traffic accidents involving livestock, the collection and restraint of sick and injured animals, an electrocution in animal housing and the escape of animals into urban areas, highways and other stressful situations.

It is very important that good management and husbandry techniques are employed on your farm at all times. This is especially important for the health and well being of your livestock because prevention is better than cure. Farms, because of their nature, can be dangerous places and livestock are always liable to injure themselves. Consequently please consider the following points:

  • arrange regular inspection of your animals for signs of injury, illness or distress;
  • any injured, ailing or distressed animals should be treated without delay and you should contact a veterinary surgeon when necessary. All staff dealing with farm animals should know how to contact the veterinary surgeon in an emergency;
  • provision should be made for the segregation and care of seriously sick and injured animals. The Welfare of Livestock Regulations require suitable accommodation to be made available so that any sick or injured livestock may be separated from other livestock. Such accommodation should have a suitably bedded floor.
32 Remember to take precautions to prevent farm animals coming into contact with dangerous chemicals, including noxious gases from slurry, chemical spillage, mineral waste, herbicides and fertilisers. When removing slurry from under slats, special care is essential to avoid dangerous gases which are potentially fatal to both animals and man. Staff should be trained to keep the ventilation rate at the maximum level possible during this task.
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