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Advanced stock handling techniques reduce stress for livestock and landholders

Advanced Livestock Movement and Management workshops hosted by Western Local Land Services at Ivanhoe, Wilcannia and Bourke, have highlighted new strategies to help overcome livestock industry challenges such as staff shortages and an aging workforce.

Over the three days at each workshop, livestock expert Neil McDonald demonstrated practical and effective ways of handling livestock, with a focus on understanding animal behaviour to reduce stress on livestock and enable less physical exertion by the stock handler.

Pastoralist, Glenn Humbert, took part in the Bourke workshop and was extremely impressed with Neil McDonald’s teaching style.

“We not only learnt, but were entertained as well with his very descriptive story based teachings followed up with well rehearsed practical demonstrations,” said Glenn.

“We learnt that through using good communication combined with the correct livestock handling procedures, we could enhance desirable outcomes in health and safety, animal welfare and performance, grazing management, environmental benefits, farm profitability, and staff and family enjoyment and retention.”

Glenn reports the feedback he has received from fellow participants has been very positive and all were confident the new techniques learnt would improve outcomes in their operations.

Land Services Officer, Rob Dini, who orgainsed the Ivanhoe and Wilcannia workshops said we had 39 participants in total at the three workshops and the large number of attendees illustrated the significant interest in more effective and efficient stock handling and grazing management strategies for the Western Region.

“The workshops also proved to be an excellent opportunity for landholders to share their experience in managing stock to better manage ground cover and to discuss techniques for controlling total grazing pressure,” said Rob.

Senior Land Services Officer, Kyra Roach, took part in the Bourke workshop and said the demonstrations provided  extremely practical and successful ways of handling livestock.

"The ability to incorporate the use of working dogs to develop an understandable system for livestock movement, provides improved economic welfare and OH&S outcomes for all involved,” said Kyra.

The workshops were supported through funding from the National Landcare Programme.

For further information about Advanced Livestock Management & Movement workshops contact Rob Dini (Buronga) on 03 5021 9430 or Kyra Roach (Bourke) on 02 6870 8626.

Media contact:  Meg Strang 0429 340 600