Famous cattle handler to run course at Tocal

Famous-cattle-handlerAcclaimed cattle handler Boyd Holden is coming back to the Department of Primary Industries Tocal College to run a two-day Livestock Welfare and Handling course in July.


Boyd, who has worked for the Meat & Livestock Association and other organisations across the world from Russia, the Middle East and Indonesia, was a very popular presenter at the last Tocal Field Days.

Carol Rose, Development Officer at Tocal, says Boyd's low stress livestock handling techniques are important from both an animal production and animal welfare perspective.

"His approach of handling stress reduces both immune and rumen function of cattle, which can lead to lower weight gain of cattle.

"Understanding the herd instincts of sheep and cattle and characteristics of flight zones, can help the stock handler to avoid agitation. This in turn makes the cattle safer for the farmer to handle."

The Livestock Welfare and Handling course is run over two days on July 8 and 9 at Tocal. On the first day principles are put into practice using sheep, with Boyd demonstrating handling techniques.

"Participants get a chance to practice with the animals and even experienced livestock handlers attending the course pick up advanced techniques for low stress handling," said Ms Rose.

"On the second day, cattle will be worked in the newly upgraded yards by all the participants, giving even inexperienced cattle handlers confidence in handling cattle."

Ms Rose did the course last year with Boyd after seeing an experienced colleague sent to hospital after being shunted by an agitated bull in the yards.

"That was enough to get me along to a course to hone up my skills," she said.

Carol also believes that the low stress stretches to the people handling the cattle as well.

"This course shows you how to handle cattle in a quieter safer way, without the cattle or your partner getting all worked up."

Places are limited on the two day course, so early enrolment is recommended. The course is being run on July 8-9 at Tocal College, near Maitland in the Hunter Valley.

Ring 1800 025520 or go to www.profarm.com.au