Animal fear towards people can be very stressful, making animal handling difficult and dangerous. The way animals are handled, absence of food, milking parlour conditions and presence of human beings constitute a special stimulus to the animal. If it is positive, fear diminishes and the capacity to cope with new situations improves. It is common to see nervous and aggressive animals that can be associated with a worsening on welfare, apart from economic loss. In the present study some attitudes of the milkers towards the animals were evaluated in 19 Uruguayan dairy farms, as well as dairy cows' behaviour during the milking process. The observation of number, gender and attitudes of milkers, the way of conducting animals to the milking parlour and animals' appearance inside the room (fear, anxiety, urination/defecation, reaction to the milking machine) showed that there is a variety of interactions between human and cows which can influence the behaviour of animals and their productivity.
|Author Address||Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo, Uruguay.|
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