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Safety Around Livestock


A few tips from Southern States on preventing injury on your farm or livestock operation.

Every year people are hurt or injured by livestock animals. In fact, a USDA study found animals to be the No. 1 cause of farm injury. Most incidents occur while people are handling an animal. Consequently, many accidents can be avoided by following a few simple safety tips.

Know your animals

Animals don’t think the way we do sometimes. It’s helpful to keep in mind a few basic animal traits when approaching or working with livestock or horses.

  • Many animals have a strong territorial instinct.
  • Males, especially bulls and stallions, can be very aggressive.
  • Mothers protecting their young can be extremely aggressive as well.
  • Changes in environment, such as changes in lighting, moving shadows, turning fans and wind-blown fabrics can upset animals. Avoid loud or sudden noises as much as possible.
  • Cattle and horses see everything around them, except for things directly behind them. Avoid their blind spot and approach from the front or side.
  • Animals remember harsh treatment. If they have been mistreated in the past, they might fear being approached now.

Smart livestock facilities

Another piece of sound advice: Make sure you set up facilities properly and keep equipment in good repair. Workers and those in contact with livestock should have easy access to the animals in their pens and in handling facilities. Ensure emergency exits are easy-to-reach and well-marked. Use the proper restraining equipment at all times. Finally, keep small children and bystanders out of livestock-handling areas at all times. Staying smart about animals will help keep you and those important to you safe, while also keeping your livestock free from harm as well.

Special Member Savings

At Southern States®, we are proud to be one of the nation's largest farmer-owned cooperatives. Southern States has partnered with Nationwide® Agribusiness Insurance to offer Southern States Cooperative member-producers in North Carolina and Virginia special discounts on insurance. In addition to giving you exclusive insurance savings, we’re also joining forces to support the cooperative that means so much to you.

Nationwide® Agribusiness is the number 1 insurer of farms in the U.S. and a leading insurer of commercial agribusiness. Go to southernstatesnwag.com to find a local agent.


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