Students sometimes find a number of normal animal production practices such as mulesing, de-beaking, teeth-clipping and tail-docking distasteful. Although such practices are approved by the regulatory authorities, farmers in the intensive animal industries particularly are naturally sensitive about their image in the community and wish to maintain strict security measures against animal liberation extremists. Please respect these sensitivities at all times and ask permission before taking photographs(please note that there is no need to include photos in your practical reports). You may negotiate with the farmer whether or not you wish to personally practice these procedures (note Skills requirements).
In the event that you believe that you have witnessed animal abuse outside of normal husbandry practices, you may wish to take action. You are expected to take responsibility for dealing with the matter and you are advised to exercise discretion. An appropriate course of action might be to be to first discuss this with the farmhand, or if uncomfortable with this, report the matter to the offending farmhand’s supervisor. You have the right to report the matter to the RSPCA, but are advised to discuss this with relevant Faculty staff beforehand; these matters can often be resolved without recourse to outside authorities.
For further information visit the Faculty's Animal Welfare webpage.