What farmer advisers can do to help at livestock accidents

Farm groups have developed a program to help deal with animals in cattle truck rollovers.

Beef Farmers of Ontario and Farm and Food Care Ontario led development of the program to train beef farmers and industry as advisers first responders can call on. There are approximately 16 advisers, mainly farmers, located across the province as part of the program.

Advisers know cattle behaviour

Michael Campbell, Beef Farmers of Ontario policy and research analyst, says advisers will bring equipment and provide logistical knowledge of how to open trailers involved in accidents, along with advice on how to remove and contain cattle.

The advisers also have knowledge on cattle behaviour, he says.

“Cattle, in some cases, will respond in ways that humans aren’t really prepared for,” Campbell says.

Brent Royce, Farm and Food Care Ontario farm animal care adviser, says part of the advisers’ training involved how to approach the accident scene, the responders’ chain of command and how to work with first responders “in their language.”

Campbell says the program was developed because, in many cases, police officers and firefighters aren’t familiar with cattle.

Training sessions for first responders

In addition to setting up the team of advisers, Farm and Food Care Ontario held training sessions on handling livestock in emergencies during two separate days in September for about 70 to 80 first responders, Royce says. That training dealt with how to handle livestock during disasters, such as truck rollovers and barn fires.

As part of the project, information was sent out to all Ontario fire chiefs providing them with livestock handling tips and how the group of advisers will function. 

“They (the fire chiefs) have a contact and know about the team,” Royce says.

Bottom line

Farm groups initiated and created a new team of advisers available to provide information to first responders at livestock truck rollover accidents. 

Article by: Susan Mann