Handling and Worker Training

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, employees and contractors, including supervisors, accountable for humane handling practices and eliminating animal abuse
  • Video monitoring of all areas where employees and contractors 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, welfare-conscious handling
  • Gaining knowledge of specific animal behaviors and applying that understanding to the handling of animals
  • Using and maintaining all farm equipment properly

Use of Electric Prods and other Pain- or Fear-Inducing Techniques

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 to an animal or human. Even when justified in an emergency situation, prods should never be used in the face or genital region, and alternative devices such as flags for cattle and rattles for pigs should be easily accessible for use whenever possible.

Addressing these issues helps animals achieve Freedom from Fear and Distress as well as Freedom from Pain, Injury and Disease.