Handling animals such as cattle, sheep, poultry, dogs and horses is part of everyday life on many farms. All animals behave differently and some animals are kept for production or as working animals (sheep and cattle dogs or stock horses) and some are kept as domestic pets.
Animals can be unpredictable, especially during mating season. Cattle, pigs, horses and sheep should be treated with caution at all times. Keep a fence or barrier between you and the animals; never turn your back.
Falling off horses can cause serious injuries so always wear a helmet. Keep sheds, yards, fences and equipment in good repair.
Visitors and bystanders can easily be injured by livestock so advise them to be careful.
Many injuries to farmers and farm workers occur when handling livestock. Animals are unpredictable, especially during mating season or when protecting their young. Cattle, dogs, pigs, horses and sheep should be treated with caution. Attempting to lift or push animals can cause injury and animals may also transmit certain diseases. Plan ahead for tasks involving animals, maintain a barrier between the animals and yourself, and get help if you need it. Children should always be supervised around farm animals.
Find out more about this topic on Better Health Channel
References used for this topic page
Department of Primary Industries (NSW)
Beef cattle handling: A practical safety guide
Research & reviews:
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Fatal and non‐fatal animal‐related injuries and illnesses to workers, United States, 2011‐2014
Centers for Disease Control (US)
Fatalities caused by cattle in four states 2003-2008
Last updated: 27th January, 2020