Training to improve stockperson beliefs and behaviour towards livestock enhances welfare and productivity

G. J. Coleman, Paul Hamilton Hemsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The principle that supervising and managing animals affects farm animal welfare is widely recognised within the livestock industries. However, the manner in which the stockperson affects animal welfare, both directly and indirectly, is probably not fully appreciated. Together with the opportunity to perform their tasks well, stockpeople require a range of well-developed husbandry skills and knowledge to effectively care for and manage farm animals. There are three main factors that can be considered to contribute to a stockperson's work performance: capacity, willingness and opportunity. Capacity includes variables such as skills, health, ability and knowledge, while willingness includes motivation, job satisfaction, attitude to the animals and work attitude, and opportunity includes working conditions, actions of co-workers and organisational policies and rules. This paper briefly reviews the influence of the stockperson on livestock welfare and productivity and the opportunities to improve the stockperson's performance through training. It is clear that there is a continuing need for livestock industries to train their personnel to effectively care for and handle their stock. Underestimating the role and impact of the stockperson will seriously risk the welfare and productivity of livestock. Indeed, the stockperson may be the most influential factor affecting animal handling, welfare and productivity. Furthermore, it is likely that, in the near future, both the livestock industries and the general community will place an increasing emphasis on ensuring the competency of stockpeople to manage the welfare of livestock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
JournalOIE Revue Scientifique et Technique
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal welfare
  • Attitudes
  • Behaviour
  • Stockpeople
  • Stress
  • Training

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