Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2 great Press releases

NEWS RELEASE (12/7/07)
For immediate release
For more information, call (800) 844-1409
Large Animals Equal Large Problems in an Emergency
Everywhere in America thousands of large animals are transported through our communities daily. They are moving over our streets, roads and highways. Whenever a transportation emergency occurs, local first responders are called. Without specific knowledge, training and equipment, the possibility of the first responders becoming injured is very real.
Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Training is the best way to protect the lives of the first responders as well as provide the best possible care for the animals involved. Trailer accidents, animals that escape their pasture, and barn fires are common scenarios that often result in response from fire and emergency services. Additionally, horses and other livestock fall into trenches, are stuck in confined spaces or become otherwise trapped in various ways. With a thorough understanding of the animals and the hazards they pose, common rescue techniques can be adapted with special equipment to achieve a safe and positive outcome.
Recent disasters have illustrated the value that humans place on their animals, and clearly doing nothing to help in an emergency is not an option. According to Mark Cole from USRider Equestrian Motor Plan (, a nationwide roadside assistance program for equestrians that promotes Large Animal Rescue awareness and training,
“We’ve found that emergency responders, while trained experts in human rescue and extrication, often have no training in large animal rescue. Because of this lack of training, responders are being put at great risk. Moreover, in many accidents and disasters, animals without life-threatening injuries are being injured further or even killed by use of incorrect techniques.”
First responders are accustomed to victims recognizing they are present in a helping role. However, a large animal involved in an emergency situation is often in a fight or flight survival mode and could easily injure or kill a first responder who’s trying to help. Human reaction time is no match for the instinctive kick of a horse. These gentle giants could simply turn or move and crush anyone who enters a vehicle with animals inside. Responders without adequate knowledge of safe, humane techniques have even been killed while trying to euthanize animals.
Safety starts with the implementation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). An effective incident management system provides the means for a safe, organized and efficient rescue and allows personnel from various agencies to share a common communication language. The Incident Commander arriving on scene must perform a risk assessment. The IC must weigh the probability of injury to the rescuers. This risk versus gain equation must be evaluated and the IC must act without jeopardizing rescue personnel. If specially trained responders are available, with the required technical equipment to effect the rescue, the probability of a safe and successful rescue increases for both the responders and the animal.
Well-intentioned rescuers without adequate knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the animal may do more harm than good. For example, a lifting rope placed around the lower leg of a horse could easily maim the animal, resulting in the need for the animal to be euthanized. All too often, the neck of an animal is seen as a handle and a rope attached for pulling. How would we respond if someone threw a rope around our neck and started pulling?
Most well-equipped technical rescue teams will already have much of the required equipment needed; however, additional unique pieces of equipment will be necessary. For instance, a large “A” frame tall enough and strong enough to lift a horse could be purchased or constructed. SCBA cylinders, regulators and hoses can be combined with PVC pipe to assemble a mud rescue kit to inject air near the feet of an animal to assist in freeing the animal. Telescoping poles to cut halters or pass tools or ropes through a trailer can be constructed to minimize risk and exposure to the rescuers. Rescue slings can be purchased or constructed to enable lifting of the animals while minimizing the danger of the animal falling during the lift. A special horse glide can be purchased to enable the animal to be secured to it – much in the manner conventional back boards are used to stabilize humans. Ropes can be attached and a team of people can drag the animal to the nearest available transport vehicle.
Specialty courses are offered at many locations throughout the country and attendance could literally save the lives of those responders who attend. Eastern Kentucky University ( has established an annual Large Animal Rescue training program that provides training to students in the Fire and Safety Engineering Technology program ( This special training is provided to the students as part of their college curriculum requirements. To date, approximately 100 undergraduate students have successfully completed the Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Training.
EKU’s Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program was established in 1975 and is one of a handful of programs in the country offering undergraduate degrees in fire and safety. Areas of study include life safety; fire prevention, suppression and investigation, fire service administration; fire protection principles; industrial loss prevention; safety program management; and occupational safety and health.
To provide students the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills required to become proficient in the rescue of large animals, EKU’s Fire and Safety Engineering Technology Program at Eastern Kentucky University will host the fourth annual Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Training next spring.
Scheduled for April 18-20, 2008, the first seminar is reserved as an elective for fire sciences students at EKU. The second seminar, April 22-24, 2008, is open to the public, with emphasis on recruiting fire and EMT responders, veterinarians and others. The training will educate fire/rescue personnel, first responders, veterinarians and horse enthusiasts about techniques and procedures to assist large animals involved in transportation accidents and other emergencies. Instruction will cover the use of sedatives and tranquilizers, chemical restraint, rescue ropes and knots, rescue from horse barn fires, mud rescue, helicopter rescue and water rescue, among other situations. The training, which consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction and hands-on training, qualifies each student to receive FSE 489 credit for the class. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, each large-animal emergency rescue seminar is limited to 30 participants. Be sure to call and reserve your space today.
A separate session on HAZMAT Decontamination of Large Animals is scheduled for the morning of April 25. This free session will cover the issues related to rescuing large animals that have encountered chemical, biological or radiological contamination.
For additional information or to register for the training, contact Mr. Michael Shane LaCount at (859) 622-1009.

Deep Corporate Discounts Available for Spring Courses

Discount Offer Ends December 31

College Station, Texas - December 4, 2007 Corporate groups looking for a cost effective training solution for their sales force will find the answer with the Center for Equine Business Studies at Texas A&M as it offers up to $200 off Spring distance learning courses for corporate groups. The Center for Equine Business Studies (CEBS), brings a convenient and economical solution to small business owners, retailers and others wanting to hone their skills by offering on-line distance learning courses to improve practical business knowledge and tools. Distance learning replaces the traditional face-to-face classroom with instruction delivered via the Internet. This allows students to participate in classes at times that are convenient to their job and family obligations, and from any location with Internet access.

Courses to be offered on-line for continuing education credit in the Spring 2008 include "Business Basics for the Equine Business" and "Sales in the Equine Industry," offered earlier this year.

"Business Basics for the Equine Business" provides instruction in the basics of managing businesses that provide products or services to the equine industry. Students will be introduced to managerial decision-making and analysis in an equine environment, and develop skills that facilitate application of management principles to realistic business situations. A basic knowledge of excel spreadsheets will be required.

The student will select an actual or hypothetical equine related business as the subject for their course projects and develop the following for that business:

· Balance Sheet

· Income Statement

· Enterprise Budgets

· Partial Budgets

· Cash Flow Budgets

· Capital Asset Schedule

· Schedule of Insurance Coverage

· Human Resource Plan

"Sales in the Equine Industry" focuses on professional sales techniques in the equine environment. Students will develop sales skills through application of sales principles and realistic selling situations.

Course fees are $595 per person through December 31, and $695 per person thereafter. Corporate groups of five or more individuals may register for $495 per person through December 31, as well, but most contact instructor Clark Springfield to receive the discount. The courses can be taken for continuing education credit and each course can be taken individually or as a part of a certification program. Upon successful completion of all five Equine Entrepreneurship courses, the participant will be awarded a Certificate in Equine Entrepreneurship from Texas A&M University. Courses that will be offered in the future include Marketing and the Equine Industry, Equine Entrepreneurship I, and Equine Entrepreneurship II.

"We are expecting a strong enrollment this spring," said Clark Springfield, course instructor. "We strongly urge interested persons to register as early as possible, not just to receive the discount, but to ensure their place in the classes."

For additional course information and to enroll visit, or contact Clark Springfield, Equine Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator, at, or call (979) 845-3805. As a reminder, groups of five or more should not enroll on line, but should contact Clark Springfield for discount enrollment.

You may also enroll as an individual for these courses.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm Baaack

I have been out of town for the past few days. I was on my second honeymoon for our 10th anniversary and bringing home, what else, some new equine family members. I also got a chance to meet some of the horses at our foster facility, who are some GREAT animals if you are looking for a new friend .

I say this not to solicit any comments or congratulations, however if you would like to send presents... No, wait that isn't what I meant to say, I was just explaining why things had been quiet for a while around the AHDF. Anyway, I came back to a load of work, YEAH! I like being busy. What is not happy is that during my trip so much info has been coming out about so many abuses of our 4 hooved friends. Not such a happy holiday present.

During my trip news has come out about Park Rangers in Big Bend State Park in Texas shooting the burros that reside in the park. The reason? Because they carry diseases that may affect the Park's horses and those around the park and the normal they destroy the environment and compete with other species for forage. Basically these little burros are picking on the big horn sheep and "aggressively" attack other animals at the water holes that they have spent all day fowling with their poo and urine. Wow, these dirty little buggers are sure a pain aren't they? To justify their lethal shooting of these horrible animals, whose numbers are incredibly low, they quote the pro-hunting group the Sierra Club. I am sure many of you may be surprised to learn that the Sierra Club is VERY supportive of killing burros and our wild horses to "control the numbers of these invasive species". If you doubt my word look at their website. What this park is doing is similar to the slaughter of burros in the Grand Canyon where hundreds of burros were shot and killed to "protect" the environment. It took public outcries to stop that slaughter and it will take the public's outrage to stop this horrific slaughter of these burros. Burros are under a greater attack than our wild horses and at this point our wild horses will be non-existent in the wild by 2010 at the rate they are being removed and having PZP and other birth control methods applied. Please make your comments to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, clicking the link will take you to their webform or you can call 1-800-792-1112.

Anyone who is connected to the world knows that we are in full swing of the 2008 presidential election. There are a number of issues to consider when picking a candidate to support. One of those that may interest those that read this may be the candidate's position on animal welfare. As a non-profit the AHDF cannot endorse or criticize any candidate for office, but there are places where you can find out where a candidate stands on animal welfare. The Humane Society Legislative Fund has contact information for all the the major candidates and are putting their answers along with their records on their website in a blog format. You can read about it here.

Lastly, the American Horse Publications is taking nominations for their Equine Visionary Award. These awards are for recognizing outstanding leadership, creativity and meritorious contributions in the equine industry. Deadline for nominations is January 11, 2008. You can make your nominations by requesting a nomination for by emailing them at or by calling (386) 760-7743. You may nominate anyone you feel is qualified, but may I suggest posthumously nominating Katrina "Trina" Bellak the founder and former president of AHDF? Trina had a wonderful vision for the world of horses and is sorely missed. It would be wonderful for her to receive a nomination and votes, even after we lost her. If you need info about Trina for the nomination just Google her name, there are a number of wonderful resources to quote. Finalists from 2007 will be automatically nominated, so there is no need to nominate them once again.

If I don't post again or if you are heading off on your own vacation and won't read the posts again I want to wish each and every one of you a very happy and prosperous holiday season. Again presents for me can be sent... Ooops I did it again.

Happy Holidays from the AHDF!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Alert- Comments Needed

In 2000 and 2001 there was a great deal of discussion between the USDA and humane groups when they were rewriting the Commercial Transport of Equine to Slaughter regulations. The first draft was one that the humane groups agreed was probably the most humane regulations possible for those horses. However, what was eventually accepted was nothing like the original draft. It allowed a slow phase out of the VERY inhumane double decker trailers and put in a loophole big enough to drive a semi through. Fast forward to 2007, finally the USDA/APHIS has noticed this loophole and is proposing a change in regulations to close it and accepting public comments to the proposed change.

I can assure you that those using double deckers WILL comment, so it is VERY important that those of us who care about the humane treatment of horses comment in large numbers. We cannot have a repeat of what happened back in 2000-01. Double decker trailers are not a humane way to transport ANY horse, not even when they are modified. The USDA has already admitted this and the proposed change is a step in the right direction.

I ask every person reading this to please provide comments to the proposed regulation and passing along this alert to your friends and relatives. Please address ONLY the issue of transporting horses in double deckers. Talking about horse slaughter will not help your comment to be taken seriously. We all know horse slaughter is inhumane, but the place to address those comments are to your Senators and Representative on S 311/HR 503. Until slaughter is banned, we simply must insure that the horses are treated as humanely as possible and this is something they can address.

You can provide your comments by mailing them to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0168, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. You can also comment online by going to and selecting Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service from the drop down menu and entering Docket number 2006-0168. Comments are being accepted until Jan. 7, 2008.