HUMAN health precautions and regular checking of animals is advised with the recent increased temperatures. There are a number of steps farmers and equestrians should take to ensure their own and their animals’ health and safety in the hot weather.

Heat stress could become a serious factor not only for animals, but also for people working during peak daytime temperatures.

As people who work with animals, we tend to often put the health of our livestock first, but it is important that the health and safety of anyone working with animals is given equal concern. Farmers and yard workers are advised to apply sun cream regularly throughout the day, stay well hydrated and take regular breaks to avoid exhaustion.

Top tips while working

  • Stay out of the heat between 11am and 3pm.
  • Keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
  • Eat cold foods.
  • Drink plenty.
  • Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.
  • Be watchful of others.
  • Some prescription medicines can make us feel hotter. It’s important to take extra care to keep cool.
  • Symptoms of heatstroke in humans

  • Feeling faint and dizzy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Intense thirst
  • Cramps in your arms, legs or stomach
  • Cool down as quickly as possible if you have these symptoms. Ring your doctor or pharmacist if you are worried. Ring 999 if the person has collapsed.

    Animal Concerns

    Heat stress is particularly a risk in young animals exposed to peak temperatures without any access to shelter facing the greatest risk. Important visible signs of heat stress include:

  • Reduced movement
  • Faster breathing rate
  • Open-mouthed panting
  • Decreased feed intake
  • Increased water consumption
  • Transporting

    With temperatures particularly high in Ireland and across Europe at the moment this could present challenges and risks for animals transported in trailers.

  • Tailor the stocking rate accordingly
  • Check on animals regularly
  • Avoid peak temperatures
  • Rest animals before transporting
  • Be aware of water availability
  • Plan journeys wisely
  • Shelter while resting