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Implement livestock husbandry practices

Unit Descriptor This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to perform livestock husbandry in an agricultural environment. It requires the application of skills and knowledge to administer preventative health treatments appropriate to assessed livestock needs, monitor and evaluate livestock post-treatment, and maintain records accordingly. The unit requires an awareness of enterprise and legislative requirements with regard to animal welfare, workplace safety and positive environmental practices. The work requires some judgement and discretion, and would be carried out under minimal supervision within enterprise guidelines.

1 . Prepare for treatment of livestock.

  1. Equipment and materials for treating livestock are checked for safe and sound operation and confirmed against work plan.

  2. Livestock treatment site and facilities are prepared to industry standards in line with enterprise requirements.

  3. Livestock treatments are prepared and confirmed against work plan in line with manufacturers specifications and work plan.

  4. Potential and existing OHS hazards in the workplace are recognised, risk assessed and controlled in line with enterprise requirements.

2 . Treat livestock.

  1. Livestock are mustered safely, yarded, controlled, inspected and identified for treatment in line with enterprise requirements.

  2. Safe workplace practices with regard to livestock handling are observed and implemented in line with OHS and enterprise requirements.

  3. Treatment is administered in accordance with manufacturers specifications, enterprise and animal welfare legislative requirements.

  4. Environmental implications associated with livestock husbandry practices are identified, assessed and relevant measures implemented.

3 . Complete treatment process.

  1. Livestock are prepared and moved along planned route without damage to person, property or environment.

  2. Equipment, materials and facilities used for treatments are cleaned, maintained and stored in line with manufacturer specifications, OHS and enterprise requirements.

  3. Livestock residues and waste are disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner in line with OHS and enterprise requirements.

4 . Monitor effectiveness of treatment.

  1. Livestock are monitored post-treatment for signs of treatment effectiveness.

  2. Livestock health and condition abnormalities are recognised and treated appropriately in accordance with enterprise requirements.

  3. Livestock treatment process and outcomes are detailed and recorded in line with enterprise requirements.

Key CompetencyExamples of ApplicationPerformance
How can information be collected, analysed and organised?
How are ideas and information communicated within this competency?
How are activities planned and organised?
How are problem solving skills applied?
How are mathematical ideas and techniques used?
How is use of technology applied?
How is team work used within this competency?

Range Statement

What equipment and materials may be used for treating livestock?

These may include crushes, mulesing shears, foot clipping secateurs, hand shears, machine shearing handpieces, livestock cradles, foot baths, dehorning equipment, livestock handling equipment, drench guns, vaccinating guns, dips, jetting plant, jetting guns, syringe and scales.

What livestock are covered?

Livestock covered by this unit of competency include beef cattle, alpaca, sheep and goats.

What may be included in a work plan?

A work plan may include tasks (including type and application of treatments), equipment, resources and materials for use, equipment checks and maintenance procedures, supervisor instructions, timeframes for work completion, and reporting requirements.

Which enterprise requirements may apply?

Standard operating procedures, industry standards, production schedules, Material Safety Data Sheets, work notes, product labels, manufacturers specifications, operators manuals, enterprise policies and procedures (including waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines), OHS procedures, supervisors oral or written instructions, work and routine maintenance plans, may be included in enterprise requirements.

What preventative health treatments may apply?

Preventative health treatments may include, pizzle dropping, foot paring, clipping/grinding teeth, trimming horns, administering trace elements, giving injections, applying disinfectants, checking eyes and removing grass seeds, shearing dead livestock, collecting faecal samples, dipping, jetting, treating fly strike, caustic treatment of horn buds, mulesing/marking, administering hormonal treatments/agents, inspecting testicles, checking vulvas, checking ears, checking teeth, checking udders, drenching, weaning young, removing horns, and castration.

Which OHS requirements may be applicable?

These may include identifying hazards and assessing and reporting risks, and implementing safe systems and procedures for:

Which potential and existing OHS hazards may be encountered in the workplace?

Workplace hazards may include moving and handling livestock and machinery, solar radiation, dust, and other hazardous substances (i.e. veterinary chemicals).

How might the safe mustering of livestock be achieved?

This may include the application of controlled and calming techniques (including the restraint of working dogs) to minimise stress to livestock and prevent risks to young livestock of smothering.

How might livestock be controlled?

For example, safely caught and restrained (with or without use of animal handling equipment).

What health conditions may livestock be inspected for?

Lesions, abscesses, parasites, cancers, abnormal growths, lice/ticks, and footrot.

How might livestock be identified for treatment?

Eartags, earmarks, raddle, sprays, silicon chips, tattoos, collar tags, and leg bands.

What environmental implications may be associated with livestock husbandry practices?

Negative environmental impacts may result from the unsafe use and disposal of veterinarian chemicals (dipping, jetting, internal and external parasite control), and any consequent residual chemicals. Impacts may also result from high concentrations of livestock on ground cover causing run-off flows, loss of ground cover, soil disturbance, pugging, dust problems, weed seeds in animal manure, contamination of ground and surface water supplies, and odours.

What considerations may be involved in preparing and moving livestock?

This may include giving livestock time to settle post-treatment, conducting the move in a controlled and quiet manner to correct paddock, and ensure the closure of gates.

What livestock residues may be disposed of?

Residues may include skin, testes, teeth and horn clippings, and carcasses, and may be disposed of by burning, burying, or removal to safe site.

Evidence Guide

What evidence is required to demonstrate competence for this unit as a whole?

Competence in implementing livestock husbandry practices requires evidence of the ability to assess livestock health status, and prepare and administer appropriate preventative health treatments according to work plan. It involves selecting, using and maintaining specialised equipment, the ability to muster, move and handle livestock, prepare treatment site, facilities and equipment to industry standards, determine treatment methods, monitor treatment effectiveness, report and treat abnormalities, and maintain records. Evidence must also be demonstrated in the employment of safe workplace and environmentally responsible practices associated with livestock husbandry. The skills and knowledge required must be transferable to a different work environment. For example, if competence is evident in the practise of livestock husbandry in the goat production industry, it must also be evident in performing livestock husbandry practices in other sectors of the rural industry.

What processes should be applied to this unit of competency?

There are a number of processes that are learnt throughout work and life, which are required in all jobs. They are fundamental processes and generally transferable to other work functions. Some of these are covered by the key competencies, although others may be added. The questions below highlight how these processes are applied in this unit of competency. Following each question a number in brackets indicates the level to which the key competency needs to be demonstrated where 0 = not required, 1 = perform the process, 2 = perform and administer the process and 3 = perform, administer and design the process.

Are there other units of competency that could be assessed with this one?

This unit of competency could be assessed on its own or in combination with other competencies relevant to the job function.

There is essential information about assessing this unit of competency for consistent performance and where and how it may be assessed, in the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package. All users of these units of competency must have access to the Assessment Guidelines. Further advice may also be sought from the relevant sector booklet.