Large Ruminant Patient Handling

VTH Policy #PtHand909

Implementation Date: 5/15/2019

Date of Last Revision: 5/15/2019

Next Review Due: 3/2023


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: N/A

Reviewed by VTH Board: N/A


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: 5/1/2019

Subject to modification by the VTH Biosecurity Subcommittee of the CVM Occupational Health and Safety Committee without approval.


Proper patient handling is required for the safety of the cattle as well as the handler and bystanders.


  1. Do not enter a pen with an animal of unknown temperament.
  2. Bovine patients must be restrained for examination and treatment.

Procedure (if applicable)

I. Basic Restraint

  1. The cattle must be restrained in a manner commensurate with temperament
  2. Placing body parts inside a chute should be done with extreme caution and as infrequently as practical.
  3. Quick release knots must always be used.

II.  Physical Exams

  1. The cattle must be restrained in a manner commensurate to temperament that allows safe examination.
  2. If a staff person or student at any time feels the animal is fractious or feels unsure, they shall stop the exam and contact a house officer or faculty.
  3. At no time is it permissible to kneel or sit on the floor while an animal is being examined.

III.  Procedures

  1. Restraint of cattle for procedures should be overseen by experienced personnel.
  2. When unsafe conditions are observed, House Officers and Faculty are expected to stop the procedure and instruct the personnel involved on how to perform the task safely.


    1. Sufficient sedation to perform the procedure safely should always be employed. 
    2. Cattle are not to be moved until the sedation has worn off. 

Definitions (if applicable)

Restraint : Restraint may include; chemical, physical – halter, head catch, rope, gate, nose lead

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.

Keywordshandling, proper, safety, cattle, bystander, handler, pen, temperament, bovine, restrain, restraint, exam, treat, oversee, sedation,   Doc ID124338
OwnerJenny C.GroupUofI College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created2023-02-24 12:39 CDTUpdated2023-02-24 12:58 CDT
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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