Michigan State University Extension offers training for first responders, law enforcement officials and others on responding to accidents involving livestock, By Beth Ferry Michigan State University

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Program attendees will be prepared to manage and respond to accidents involving livestock after attending this hands-on training.

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Training offered on October 18th, 2022 at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education.

The animal agriculture industry is robust in the United States where millions of animals are transported weekly for various reasons. Transportation of animals occurs as part of the food system, for exhibition and for recreation; it is rare to find a day or highway where trucks and trailers hauling single, multiple or groups of animals does not occur. The transportation process comes with several risks that are associated with it, as unexpected accidents involving livestock unforunatly can occur. These types of situations can quickly become chaotic with risks to the safety of the responders to the accidents, welfare of the animals involved and the safety of the public, traveling the roadways.

In order to assist first responders, law enforcement officials and the animal agriculture industry to be prepared for these situations, Michigan State University Extension has developed programing focused on Emergency Response to Accidents Involving Livestock (ERAIL). This program is designed to support Michigan’s animal agriculture industry by providing resources to assist in the response to accidents that involve animals. The ERAIL Program focuses on three essential aspects including:

  • Training first responders and animal transport professionals on how to respond effectively to transportation accidents when animals are involved
  • Providing access to essential equipment required to mount an effective response, and training in its proper use, and
  • Creating an organized network of trained responders throughout the state.

On Oct.18, 2022, the MSU Extension ERAIL Team will host an in-person, hands-on training focused on increasing the awareness and skill set of first responders, law enforcement officials and others that may be involved in the response to an accident involving animals. This one-day Emergency Response to Accidents Involving Livestock (ERAIL) Training will be held at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education located 4301, Farm Lane East Lansing, MI 48824 and will start at 9:00 a.m. The cost of this training is $75 per person or $60 per person for groups of two or more, please notes no refunds will be given after October 10, however substitutions may be made after that date. Registration is limited.

This training will develop or refined the skills needed for responders to accident scenes. The training will also provide attendees an excellent opportunity to network with local law enforcement groups, as well as formulate key questions for continuous improvement of the systems they are each involved with. It is expected that participants will come from varied professions and backgrounds, making this training experience robust and beneficial for all.

By taking advantage of the Emergency Response to Accidents Involving Livestock (ERAIL) Training opportunity and working to build a network of trained personnel, Michigan first responders and their partner stakeholders will be poised to respond to accidents involving livestock effectively, thereby reducing risks to public safety, animal welfare and negative economic impacts these events can have on food production. These combined efforts, with future programing, will help minimize the risks associated with these events and lesson the economic and welfare risks facing the animal agriculture industry when these events occur.

Registration information can be found by visiting the MSU Extension Events Calendar and questions about the training can be directed to:

  • Beth Ferry at 269-876-2745 or franzeli@msu.edu,
  • Dave Thompson at 517-279-4311 or thom1637@msu.edu
  • Tom Guthrie at 517-788-4292 or guthri19@msu.edu
  • Paola Bacigalupo-Sanguesa at 970-888-1356 or paolabs@.msu.edu.