Large animals on farms and ranches such as horses, cattle, bison, llamas, emus, etc. can be more dangerous than machinery. They can be unpredictable, so it is important to make sure that there is an adequate barrier between children and large animals. Dude ranches and trail rides should closely monitor guest and animal interaction and ensure proper supervision, instruction, and animal temperament.
Injuries commonly caused by animals include:
- Being stepped on.
- Being pushed over or pinned between the animal and another object or wall.
- Being kicked or bitten.
Safety issues with small and large animals also involve diseases transmitted from animals to visitors. These diseases can be caused by direct contact with the animals or the animals’ surroundings. Special precautions should be taken to protect the health and safety of visitors on operations that involve contact with animals or that have animals on the farm.
The “walkthrough” that follows will encompass some general animal safety guidelines, and also provide links to useful resources.
Additional information on animal safety can be found at the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians website at http://www.nasphv.org/documentsCompendiaAnimals.html.