Farmers are responsible for the health and safety of all their animals, which is why training, knowledge, and experience are a must. Without this, animal health and safety isn’t guaranteed, which is the last thing a responsible farmer ever wants.
Not properly caring for farm animal health is against the law, with farmers required to follow the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations 2007 and similar laws. There are various regulations in place to ensure animal safety takes precedence on every farm, so let’s take a closer look at what must be done.
Farmers cannot neglect or be cruel to their animals, which is a rather obvious one but still worth noting, as it’s punishable by law. The following must be provided for all farmed animals otherwise it could be considered neglect:
- Animals have access to fresh water and a nutritional diet
- Animals are provided with adequate shelter
- Animals are kept separately or paired with other animals depending on their requirements
- Animals must be allowed to behave naturally and express themselves
- Animals are provided with treatment for illness and injury and are adequately protected from possible illness and injury
Ensuring Animal Wellbeing
A farm inspection is designed to check on the health and welfare of all animals. If their welfare isn’t being ensured, farmers could face an ownership ban or possibly a jail sentence.
So, it’s important to ensure all animals are kept safe and happy on a farm, a no-brainer for most farmers. This includes providing them with care, food, and shelter that doesn’t have a negative impact on their mental or physical health.
Animal Safety in Transit
If transporting live animals to shows and markets, their health and wellbeing must be ensured during travel. This means they can’t be transported in vehicles that could cause harm or suffering, and you need to make sure the journey isn’t too long.
Animals must be healthy enough for safe travel, and that the vehicle you use is suitable for safe transport. They also need to be handled with care during the travel process – never use violent means to get them loaded or unloaded.
When travelling, animals must have access to fresh water and food, while giving them enough height and floor space.
Checking Animal Health
All farmers must ensure the health of their animals and provide adequate treatment when they fall ill or are injured. Therefore, regular check ups on each animal’s health is needed to ensure they are fit and healthy.
However, bear in mind that certain animals require more check-ups than others. For instance, housed poultry should be inspected daily, housed calves up to six months old need to be inspected twice daily, while animals with less dependence can be checked up as often as needed.
Food and Water
All animals require constant access to food and water on a farm. This should be provided in a location where animals can eat and drink safely without the risk of injury, which can occur when forced to compete for food and drink.
Never feed food or liquids that could be damaging to their health or cause unnecessary suffering, while ensuring that anything given to the animals has been certified as safe.