First Responders Learn How To Deal With Livestock

Workshop gives emergency personnel hands on experience dealing with cattle and sheep in rescue situations.

Published on: May 23, 2013

How many emergency personnel understand the flight zone of a steer that has survived a trailer crash on an Interstate highway? Well at least 27 more thanks to an Animal Agriculture 203 workshops held at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station in Caldwell.

Participants including first responders and other emergency personnel gained watched live demonstrations and completed hands-on exercises with live cattle and sheep. Flight zone awareness, animal behavior, approaching techniques, sorting and herding, animal transportation and euthanasia methods were some of the topics covered at the workshop. Staff members from the Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio State University Extension took turns instructing and leading the demonstrations and exercises.

EMERGENCY ROUNDUP: Participants of the Animal Ag 203 workshop discuss how to build a corral when livestock is on the loose.
EMERGENCY ROUNDUP: Participants of the Animal Ag 203 workshop discuss how to build a corral when livestock is on the loose.

"I went to a previous Animal Ag workshop and was very impressed by its quality," says Lisa Bell, coordinator for the Guernsey County Animal Response Team and the Region Eight Animal First Responders. Bell brought her team of four to gain practical experience in dealing with livestock under high-stress situations.

"I thought this workshop in particular sounded like a great opportunity to be on the ground with the animals and get a feel for what you'd be dealing with," she says.

The Animal Agriculture 203 workshops are an extension of Animal Agriculture 202 held in May 2012, which consisted of a series of presentations that educated attendees on how to respond to farm-related incidents. The subsequent Animal Agriculture 203 workshops tie in a hands-on approach to learning.

SAFETY FIRST: Lisa Bell, Coordinator for the Guernsey County Animal Repsonse Team and the Region Eight Animal First Responders, approaches cattle using a safe technique.
SAFETY FIRST: Lisa Bell, Coordinator for the Guernsey County Animal Repsonse Team and the Region Eight Animal First Responders, approaches cattle using a safe technique.

"Based on the feedback from participants of our previous Animal Agriculture workshops, they wanted more hands-on interaction with the animals," says Leah Dorman, director of Food Programs for the Ohio Farm Bureau's Center for Food and Animal Issues. "This year's workshops are designed to give them that interaction and experience."

The Animal Agriculture 203 workshops are funded by a grant provided by the Animals for Life Foundation and are presented by the Ohio Farm Bureau and Ohio State University Extension. An AFL grant also funded the Animal Agriculture 202 workshop last year.

"At the foundation, we believe that this type of hands-on training is very beneficial to both the animals and humans involved in emergency situations," says David White, Executive Director of AFL. "We want all first responders to be as best prepared as possible should trying circumstances involving livestock arise."

Source: Animals For Life Foundation