Current news is available at, Equine Guelph's online learning platform for practical, quick learning. Given the vast amount of information on horse health and welfare, Equine Guelph has archived its past news articles from 2002-2020. They are listed below, along with a search function available to find specific healthcare topics.

Large Animal Rescue Awareness/Operational Training Calling All First RespondersJuly 2018

Story: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

Large Animal Rescue Workshop – Meaford Fire Department Meaford Fire Department Training Centre in Ontario is opening its doors once again, for intensive training on what to do in emergency situations involving large animals. Over sixty fire fighters and first responders took advantage of the training at Meaford in spring and fall 2017 to build expertise and resources within their respective communities. Registration is open to first responders for the next offering of Equine Guelph’s Large Animal Rescue Awareness/Operational Training to be held October 12 (evening), 13 & 14, 2018 (If capacity allows registration will be open to non-first responders).

When a large animal emergency occurs it is big news that all too often ends in tragedy. Trailer roll-overs, ice rescues, mud or trench rescues and the dreaded barn fire are among the greatest fears and how the situation is handled by first responders will also feature heavily in the press.

“Emergency rescue training is essential for first responders, and anyone involved with transporting livestock, to provide them the expertise they need to focus on the welfare and safety of animals and people in these sorts of emergency situations,” says Ontario Veterinary College Dean Jeff Wichtel.

Since 2014 Equine Guelph has made significant progress in establishing a Large Animal Rescue program in Ontario with its qualified team of instructors helping train for such emergencies. Over 360 people have attended training events including fire fighters, first responders, pre-service, law enforcement, animal control officers, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, emergency animal response teams, horse owners, livestock producers and associations.

The incident command system is one of the standard approaches covered and it gives a clear understanding of roles and working together effectively. Rescues involving large animals pose several challenges.

“It is invaluable to have first responders who understand the basics of animal behaviour and handling techniques, restraint and confinement techniques and basic anatomy,” says Meaford’s Chief Scott Granahan.

All large animal incidents regardless of cause or scope, present a risk of injury to responders. The aforementioned knowledge combined with proper training of best practices and how to use rescue equipment mitigate risks and improve the odds of a favorable outcome for both animals and responders.

Register at

For more information or to sign up for the non-first responder waiting list contact