Handling cattle can be a challenge under the best of circumstances, but those who do will find that the better they understand how cattle think as animals of prey, the better they will be at enhancing cattle health and performance, said veterinarian Tom Noffsinger.

"Prey animals have survived in nature, aware that predators select the lame, depressed and weak, to harvest," said Noffsinger, who is a cattle handling expert. "If caretakers behave like predators, cattle will hide signs of depression and disease from these people as long as possible. Understanding more about the visual, auditory and sensory abilities of cattle encourages handlers to override their predator tendencies, such as to chase and yell."

He will speak on the topic at the 2010 International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare May 19 to 21 on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan. The symposium, which will feature numerous well-known speakers, is hosted by K-State's Beef Cattle Institute.

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