The way animal handlers interact with farm animals can have an enormous impact on animal welfare. The ASPCA believes that high quality handling and worker training are critical to improving farm animal welfare, and therefore endorses the development and ongoing refinement of worker education programs that focus on:
- Holding employers and employees, including supervisors, accountable for humane handling practices and eliminating animal abuse
- Video monitoring of all areas where employees interact with animals, with feedback given based on observations
- Regular, unscheduled inspections by government representatives, who should be granted authority to carry them out
- Cultivating worker conditions, protocols and attitudes that promote careful, non-abusive handling
- Gaining knowledge of specific animal behaviors and applying that understanding to the animals handled
- Using and maintaining all farm equipment properly
Use of Electric Prods – The ASPCA advocates the elimination of the use of electric prods in favor of improved handler training, except in cases of immediate threat of serious injury or death to an animal or human. Alternative devices such as flags for cattle and rattles for pigs should be used when possible.