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Livestock Distraction Checklist Safety Talk

Horses, cattle, pigs and sheep will balk and refuse to move if they see distractions, something as simple as a shadow could be to blame. If an animal won’t move, survey the area and look for these possible distractions:

  • Sparkling reflections on puddles
  • Reflections on smooth metal
  • Chains that jiggle
  • Metal clanging or banging
  • High pitched noise
  • Air hissing – should be silenced with mufflers or piped outside the facility
  • Air drafts blowing toward the animals
  • Clothing hung on the fence
  • Piece of plastic that is moving
  • Fan blade movement when the fan is off
  • Movement of people nearby
  • Small objects on the floor (a coffee cup)
  • Changes in flooring and texture
  • Drain grate on the floor
  • Sudden changes in the color of equipment, bright colors tend to cause more distractions
  • Entrance is too dark; animals will move from a darker place to brighter place, however, keep in mind they will not move toward light that is too bright
  • Animals may balk at one-way and backup gates
  • Install the gates two to three body lengths away from the crowd pen
  • Equip one-way gates with a remote controlled rope so that they can be held open when moving single file


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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