Planning for the worst: Large Animal Emergency Rescue

Would you know what to do if your trailer full of livestock overturned on the highway in the middle of the night or your horse became stuck in mud?

Dr. Rebecca Husted is a leading expert on the topic having published the first textbook on Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue in 2008.

She spoke at Alberta Farm Animal Care’s Livestock Care Conference in Olds.

“So, we talked about how you coordinate with your emergency responders as far as, who do I call, 911,” says Husted.

“What about my veterinarian? I’m going to need a veterinarian on the scene and who else do I need?  Do I need cattle panels, do I need some specialty.  Do I need to call the fire department because it’s in the middle of the night on the side of road and they need to provide safety  do I need lighting?”

She says it is imperative that everyone have a personal plan and a business plan.

”It may be a beef cattle operation, it may be a feedlot, it may be boarding facility for horses, the business resumption after a disaster in the past has been horrific because people weren’t prepared.”

Husted says they are trying to get information out to mitigate, plan and prepare on the personal level, which includes your cat, dog and horses for example.

She cites a good example to keep in mind..

“How do you make sure that you’re not in the area of the flood that is coming.”

She says if you don’t have a plan, there are some great tools out there to help you get started.

AFAC is actually a very good place to start they have a 1-800 number to call and they’re fantastic because they know everybody in this province as far any kind of livestock.

Husted says uses the example of bees.

“How are you going to move bees, if there is a flood coming, you’re going to have to reach out and to get some help.  Most people don’t have a bee transport trailer if you only have a small number of hives.”

The ALERT line that Husted refers to is 1-800-506-2273, and can be found on AFAC’s website.