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A survey to investigate the level of commercial human-animal interaction during rearing and fear of humans in commercial dairy heifers

  • C. Bertenshaw (a1), P. Rowlinson (a1) and M. Ness (a1)

Extract

Recent increases in mechanisation, larger dairy units and financial pressure on dairy farmers result in a reduction in labour and time available to spend with stock. Cattle are innately fearful of humans and this fear has been found to have a substantial impact on their productivity. This survey compliments experimental work conducted at Newcastle University on approach behaviour (see companion paper). The objective was to gather information from dairy farmers on commercial heifer rearing systems; establish the different levels of human interaction and familiarity with stockpersons, explore on-farm indicators of fear and solicit farmers’ views on the subject.

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