Southern California Farmers Daughters

  (Murrieta, California)
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The difference between Handling and Welfare of Livestock

During an online chat session last evening an interesting topic came up that I thought others would find interesting.

What is the difference, if any between livestock welfare and humane handling?

here are the answers that were agreed upon. If you have any ideas for improving the definitions below please pass them on.

Livestock(animal) Welfare as Defined by Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary seems to be one of the best we found.

"The avoidance of abuse and exploitation of animals by humans, by maintaining appropriate standards of accomodation,feeding, and general care. The prevention of disease and the assurance of freedom from harassment, and unnecessary discomfort or pain."

Our standards are much more specific but the general consensus was that this a very good basic definition.

Humane Handling refers to Harvest Practices and the official definition is:

 "Animals Must be rendered insensible to pain prior to being harvested, that they must be driven at a normal walking speed and forbid driving animals with anything that may cause injury or undue pain." oddly there are no written standards for poultry.

Temple Grandin has developed Humane handling systems for Large operations and has a unique perspective on animal sensory perception that I feel small farmers should pay attention to.

Field Harvest should always be just that. Harvest in the field where the animal is calm and content until the moment of dispatch. I believe that all Custom Harvest should be done this way. Where inspection is required, care should be taken to select a facility that employs the highest standards.


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There are no standards for poultry, as they have long been considered not to be livestock in the strictest sense of the word.

That opinion is changing. More and more information is becoming public in regards to the harvesting practices of such giants as Cargill and Tyson.

It is still an afront to those of us who are serious about our poultry. But, knowledge is power, and power creates change.

Posted by Angela Stanley on April 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM PDT #

Thank you so much for the post! Would you be so kind as to contact me privately at I would love to speak to you more about it.

Posted by Aisling Metcalf on April 22, 2011 at 05:15 PM PDT #

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