When determining the ‘appropriate monitoring’ for your school farm, also consider the following:
- Animals close to birth will require monitoring on a daily basis (more if there are complications). This monitoring needs to be carried out by a person(s) who are experienced and are able to respond appropriately
- Extremely young, sick or injured animals will require monitoring on a daily basis, sometimes twice a day depending on the circumstances
- Animals held in higher stocking densities will require monitoring on a daily basis
- Animals held in yards will require monitoring twice a day
- Animals held in sheds or enclosures that do not have adequate ventilation during warm days will require monitoring on a daily basis, more during warmer weather. This may include opening up enclosures in the morning and closing up in the cooler part of the day
- Farms that do not have automatic water systems in good repair will require monitoring of livestock more frequently
- Farms with animals on supplementary feeding programs will require monitoring of livestock daily.
Extreme weather events, including, but not limited to, temperatures above 35°C for prolonged periods, fires, floods, major storms with high winds. The type and class of livestock held onsite should be considered when determining the ‘appropriate monitoring’ during these events, but all livestock will need to be monitored when it is safe to do so. Animals may need to be moved to higher ground, fences will need to be secured, water systems will need to be checked and feed given.
All schools must have developed an emergency plan. Further information can be found on the NSW Animals in schools Emergencies and Disasters page.
Remote Monitoring Systems
While remote monitoring systems may play a part in the schools monitoring process, these systems need to be effective in monitoring all animals in a system, the feed and water sources. Remote monitoring systems do not negate the need for a responsible caretaker (such as the Agriculture teacher) to visit the site and monitor the livestock in person on a regular basis.
School holiday monitoring:
During the school holidays animals will still require adequate monitoring. This can be carried out by a responsible person such as the Farm assistant, Agriculture teacher, Principal, Head Teachers or General Assistant. Schools and Agriculture teachers are urged to consider long term planning for school holidays when developing their farm programs. Agistment programs, selling of excess stock, utilising pastures in extensive grazing systems instead of feedlots, or destocking completely are all tactics used by school farm staff to reduce the stress of monitoring animals during break periods, especially during the longer, hot Christmas holidays.
Any staff involved in monitoring school animals should adhere to the procedures for staff working alone.