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Emergency equine rescue: emergency services protocol in the UK

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Emergency equine rescue

  • Guidelines were launched in 2007 to help the emergency services deal rapidly and safely with equine incidents, following several publicized prolonged and poorly managed rescue attempts.
  • The Emergency Services Protocol aids in the quick and safe rescue of horses in emergency situations. 
  • The protocol was started by the equine industry, namely the British Equine Veterinary Association, The British Horse Society, and Horse and Hound magazine, in partnership with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service who have many years of specialized experience in this area.
  • The aim of the protocol is to ensure minimal delays for an injured equine animal receiving veterinary care when trapped or involved in an accident, and to maximize the chances of survival. 
  • Since its launch in 2007, the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has worked closely with the emergency services and vets to educate, provide support and guidance, and raise awareness, in order to ensure that equine rescues are dealt with in a way that promotes welfare of the animal, in a safe environment for everyone involved. 
  • Outcomes have improved greatly, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that a high standard of professional expertise and care is readily available at every equine incident across the country.

The register of equine veterinary practices

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Rescue and emergency medicine training

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Equine manual handling for nurses and technicians

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Slessman D R (2007) Technical Large Animal Rescue. In: Proc NAVC Volume 21North American Veterinary Conference. pp 123-125.
  • Gimenez R M, Gimenez T, Stafford K B et al (2004) How to employ recumbent transport, perform a simple vertical lift, and perform proper helicopter slingload of horses. In: Proc 50th AAEP Ann Conv. American Association of Equine Practitioners, Lexington, Ky. pp 433-446.
  • Safer Horse Rescue - Website: www.saferhorserescues.com.
  • BEVA Directory of Equine Veterinary Practices (May 2010) - Website: www.saferhorserescues.com/downloads/bevadirectory_may10.pdf.

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