Handle animals under supervision and instruction

Business Sectors (Suites): Animal Care and Welfare
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 30 Mar 2020


This standard is about handling animals under supervision and instruction. It includes the skills required to handle a variety of animals safely and effectively.

You will need to be aware of the importance of health, safety, hygiene and animal welfare in connection with this work.

You will need to be aware of your own limitations and confirm that you meet the relevant legal responsibilities for providing a duty of care under current animal health and welfare legislation.

This standard is suitable for anyone who handles animals under supervision and instruction.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:


  2. carry out your work under supervision and instruction

  3. comply with the relevant animal health and welfare and animal-related legislation and associated codes of practice

  4. maintain the health and safety of yourself and all those involved in the activity, and the welfare of the animal, during the work

  5. ​wear appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) for the activity, according to instructions

  6. maintain hygiene and bio-security in accordance with instructions, business practice and the relevant legislation

  7. approach animals, under supervision, in a way which minimises distress to the animal you are working with

  8. use safe animal handling techniques, under supervision, and in accordance with instructions

  9. handle animals in a way which maintains their welfare and safety, minimises stress and encourages their co-operation

  10. monitor the animal’s behaviour and its response to handling and report problems to the relevant person without delay

  11. interact with the animal in a way which minimises stress or injury

  12. promote the animal's welfare at all times and adapt your own, or the behaviour of those involved in the activity, to avoid actions that could cause welfare concerns

  13. identify behaviours or physical reactions in the animals that may indicate welfare issues or other problems and report these to the relevant person

  14. recognise when an animal’s behaviour indicates that you should not continue with the activity

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the importance of completing an activity in accordance with instructions from the supervisor

  2. your responsibilities under the relevant animal health and welfare and animal-related legislation and associated codes of practice

  3. your responsibilities under the relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, associated codes of practice and the policies of your organisation

  4. the importance and correct use of suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)

  5. the importance of maintaining hygiene and bio-security when handling animals and how to achieve this

  6. how and where to obtain information about the temperament and usual behaviour of the animals you will be handling

  7. the techniques for handling the animals concerned

  8. the welfare requirements of animals and how to maintain their health and well-being

  9. the different factors that can affect an animal’s behaviour and what to do if these factors are present

  10. why it is important to monitor an animal’s response to handling and how to recognise negative responses

  11. to whom you should report any changes in an animal’s behaviour or any negative responses to handling, and the potential consequences of not reporting these

  12. how to recognise behavioural and emotional states in animals including: fear, aggression, appeasement, anxiety, play, relaxation and ill health

  13. how your actions, or the actions of those involved in the activity, may affect the behaviour of the animal and cause welfare concerns

  14. the importance of recognising behaviour that indicates it would not be appropriate to continue with the activity


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Current animal welfare legislation:

  • England and Wales, Animal Welfare Act

  • Scotland, Animal Health and Welfare Act

  • Northern Ireland, Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland)

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Animal Care

SOC Code



animal; handle