VSC110 Animal Production and Welfare (8)

Humans have an ethical responsibility to provide appropriate care for animals under their care, and veterinarians have particular obligations and responsibilities in this area. Animal Production and Welfare (VSC110) presents an introduction to animal production systems and provides an integrative link for the study of animal health and husbandry, welfare, behaviour, agricultural economics, intensive and extensive production systems, as well as introducing the principles of scientific writing, literature research and review, skills in numeracy and referencing. Basic information on livestock production systems is presented, and the application of this information to informed consideration of health, welfare, productivity, market access, public health and environmental impact. This subject is foundational to study of the sciences underpinning animal health and welfare and productivity, including genetics, nutrition, physiology, pathology, microbiology, parasitology and epidemiology. Animal handling skills are developed in the context of animal behaviour, health and welfare and operator safety in both classroom and practical settings as preparation for student participation in animal husbandry extramural (AHEMS) placements.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC110. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Enrolment is restricted to students in the following courses.

  • Bachelor of Veterinary Biology
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours) Integrated Honours

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to recognise and describe the characteristics of common breeds of animals used in farm animal production;
  • be able to confidently, competently and safely handle cattle and sheep, and carry out a basic health assessment of individual animals and groups of animals;
  • be able to describe animal production systems at a basic level in terms of nutritional and environmental requirements, husbandry procedures, breeding, annual production cycles, disease management, behaviour and welfare;
  • be able to explain how animal welfare can be assessed in animal production systems using the Five Domains of animal welfare;
  • be able to describe and analyse the key issues in relation to the livestock industries globally including supply, demand, productivity and profitability, environmental impacts, welfare and public health;
  • be able to outline the characteristics of a simple handling facility appropriate for common production animal species;
  • be able to compare and contrast the impact of intensive and extensive animal production systems on productivity and profitability, resources, public health, public perception and animal welfare and behaviour; and
  • be able to recognise, evaluate and utilise different types of literature to develop knowledge relevant to this subject and to communicate appropriately with differing audiences.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • An overview of animal production systems in Australia and worldwide, with a focus on aspects relating to animal health and welfare and human health and safety;
  • An introduction to scientific writing, literature research and review, referencing and numeracy skills;
  • An introduction to common breeds of farmed animal species to enable recognition of individual breeds during extramural animal husbandry (AHEMS) placements and as the basis for more detailed study of the sciences underpinning animal health and welfare and productivity;
  • An introduction to the Five Domains of animal welfare in relation to animal production;
  • Routine husbandry and production activities completed annually on major farm animal industries and production systems used in Australia. Human interaction with farm animals including handling, behaviour, facility design and operation, personnel safety and stockmanship; and
  • Relationships between basic husbandry procedures and concepts of public interest such as animal health and welfare, public health and food security, environmental impact, production and productivity.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of VSC110 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Evaluation of cattle handling competency
Progress quizzes
Sheep handling
Learning from the literature
Final exam

Special Resources

Students will be required to provide boots and overalls for animal handling practicals.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.