Humane animal handling and stunning training

Hands-on training offered to train harvest employees on proper humane animal handling and stunning.

Humane animal handling has been regulated by the Humane Methods of Livestock Handling Act since 1958. Establishments that harvest livestock implement these standards and continue to train employees on the proper methods for animal handling and stunning. It is critical and required by law that livestock be handled appropriately and that they are unconscious and insensible to pain prior to death.

Michigan State University Extension created a hands-on captive bolt stunning training for harvest employees using model euthanasia heads for beef, dairy, sheep and swine species. The one-day training is available based on demand for the training. This training is suggested for employees that work with the harvest of livestock in either a U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service inspected establishment or a custom exempt facility.

Topics will include animal handling when unloading animals and handling animals in the holding pens; proper stunning of animals using a captive bolt stunner; determining insensibility; use and care of a captive bolt stunner; employee safety; regulatory requirements and the basics of a robust animal handling plan. A large portion of the training will be hands-on captive bolt stunning practice by participants using realistic model heads of beef, dairy, sheep and swine species.

Funding for the model euthanasia heads was possible through the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture. Please contact Jeannine Schweihofer, grobbelj@msu.edu if you have interest in this training. 


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