Production

Video stresses value, safety in well-designed cattle yards

Beef Central, June 28, 2017

A well-designed set of cattle yards goes a long way to preventing a lot of injuries to both people and livestock, a new video released this week by Workplace Health & Safety Queensland points out.

The video is based on a case study format about safe stockyard design for the livestock industry featuring Australian Country Choice and its supply chain partners.

It presents the topic of yard design from a range of stakeholder perspectives, including:

  • Beef producers Rob and Sarah Cook from Bundaberg
  • Feedlot manager Ben Wade and several staff from ACC’s Brindley Park feedlot near Roma
  • Graeme Hoare, WH&S compliance and inductions manager with Martins Transport
  • Consultant veterinarian Kev Sullivan from Bell Vet Services, and
  • Workplace Health & Safety Qld’s agriculture strategy unit manager of the, Fiona O’Sullivan.

“You don’t need to spend huge amounts of money, you can build simple systems that work very well,” Dr Sullivan explains. “You just need to think about them a little bit and that will make the whole system flow a lot better.”

“The right design for cattle yards is the design that works for you, for the enterprise that you’re running and for the type of cattle you have,” Ms O’Sullivan says.

“We need to make sure that the people understand at least a little bit of animal behaviour and the pressure points for animals that make them flow. We need to make sure the stockyards are set up so that animals will flow through nicely. If we have all of those things matching, there’s a lot less stress to the cattle, there’s a lot less stress to the handlers, there’s a lot less injury.”

“Beef is a high risk industry. The government and the industry need to work together to find some sustainable safety changes to turn around that high fatality and injury rate,” she said.

Specific yard design features like hinged and slide gates, cap-rails, guards, draft configurations and other issues are discussed.

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