Use of Electronic Stock Prods on Livestock
Michael D. Piontkowski,
the introduction of Western Instrument Company’s new
electric stock prod “The
Stinger”; it is worth briefly discussing the judicious
use of these instruments on livestock.
Tremendous improvements have been made in the last 10
years with regard to more humane handling and movement of
key development is the amount of information that has surfaced
on the subject of livestock handling facilities.
In the past, little consideration was given to
livestock movement through certain livestock facility designs.
Nowadays, livestock’s movement is just as important,
if not more important, than animal handler’s convenience
with certain designs. Also,
the study of livestock behavior has resulted in a wealth of
new information. Certain
people have “cow sense”, that uncanny ability to
understand what livestock are thinking, what makes them not
want to enter a chute or how to move them without being
behaviorists through extensive studies are beginning to
understand why livestock respond the way they do to certain
combining enhanced designs with a better understanding of
livestock behavior, livestock nowadays are being handled with
more brainpower and less physical means.
The end result for livestock is less trauma, injuries
and stress. For
animal handlers, these improvements probably have resulted in
less personal injury.
stock prods have a place in livestock handling, but they
should not be used as a substitute for poor facility design,
inadequate training of animal handlers and a poor
understanding of livestock behavior.
There will always be certain animals that don’t
respond to well-designed facilities or proper animal handler
those cases, having a stock prod handy may be just the
“nudge” that certain livestock need.
you have any questions whether you livestock operation has a
good design and training, simply stand back and watch and
listen as livestock move through the chutes.
If livestock move through with little hesitation,
crowding, require very little use of electric stock prods and
things are fairly quiet, you probably have a pretty humane
handling situation. But
if you notice that livestock hesitate constantly, only move in
the right direction with use of electric stock prods and/or
whips, animals are vocalizing excessively and animal handlers
are yelling, then you may want to evaluate your operation.
Examine the design of your facility and animal handler
training to see if there aren’t changes that can be made to
make livestock handling easier for both livestock and
it was stated earlier, electric stock prods have a time and
place on probably every livestock operation.
What shouldn’t happen at every operation is to use
electric stock prods every time, every place.