Low-stress stock handling school supports cattle welfare

Nearly 30 graziers attended NQ Dry Tropics’ recent two-day Low Stress Stock Handling school, with leading educator and cattleman Jim Lindsay. The school took place at the Burnett family’s Mt Douglas Station via Belyando Crossing.

The participants represented 17 grazing enterprises, collectively managing over 311,000 ha of country across five catchments. Some of them travelled from as far as Mt Garnett.

26 participants representing 17 grazing enterprises attended the NQ Dry Tropics Low Stress Stock Handling School

One of the attendees was 17-year-old Boyd Molyneaux from Jireena Station Prairie, demonstrating that the future of the cattle industry is in good hands.

“I learnt ways to control the animals’ stress levels  – you don’t need to make noise while working cattle, in fact it is more effective not to. We won’t be using sticks, noise or jiggers any more,” he said.

The school taught concepts that are a natural progression of the Animal Production and Animal Welfare modules of the Grazing BMP.

NQ Dry Tropics’ Lisa Hutchinson said: “Attendance at a Low Stress Stock Handling School has been used as evidence of ‘good cattle handling techniques’ to meet core criteria of the Grazing BMP audit.”

Bronwyn Smith of Dreghorn Station near Charters Towers said, “This school was a wonderful opportunity to refine our stock handling skills –  especially in the yards. It is extremely likely that we will make changes to our management through having additional skills to better control our animals and therefore our grazing.”

Skills picked up throughout the course also feed into the Grazing BMP People and Business module, addressing inductions.

“This course has given me a structure around training inexperienced people in cattle handling. I will be using the Low Stress Stock handling induction to train new employees,” said Darcy O’Brien from The Brook Station, Charters Towers.

Alby Flood from Junction Creek Station summed up the feeling of most when he said, “The whole two days were very useful –  the concept of working cattle from the front is new to me.”

“The course gives you the tools for working cattle without causing undue stress to animals and people.  I like that by training your cattle to accept pressure in increments,- you can prepare them for anything. This means less shrinkage and more dollars,” he said.

This event was an initiative of NQ Dry Tropics, supported through funding from the Queensland Government Grazing BMP project.