Animal Emergencies in an Agricultural Environment

This specialized training is designed to teach emergency responders and CART members how to manage emergency scenes involving large (farm) animals.
Animal Emergencies in an Agricultural Environment - Articles


Program description and needs


Emergencies involving farm animals can challenge even the most experienced emergency provider or animal handler. In stressful situations, farm animals are very unpredictable and can pose significant danger to themselves, the general public and those individuals that are trying to help or contain them. Specialized training is needed to ensure animal safety and the safety to those responding.

This course will provide the training necessary for County Animal Response Team (CART) members and emergency services first responders to be able to assist on the scene with emergencies and disasters involving farm animals.

The training will include classroom instruction and detailed hands-on exercises that will allow the participants to practice their new knowledge and skills. There will be extensive hands-on exercises involving farm structures and live animals.

Who should attend

  • First Responders and CART members who want to develop operational skills and procedures for managing various farm animal related emergencies in their community.
  • Managers of emergency response organizations who want to understand procedures, techniques, and response activities unique to agricultural emergencies and disasters.


You must be a member or employee in good standing of a first response agency or organization (fire, EMS, law enforcement, agriculture, CART, etc.) and have completed the basic training of that agency or organization in accordance with the AHJ. At a minimum:

  • IS-100.a: Introduction to the Incident Command System,
  • IS-700.a: National Incident Management System (NIMS) and
  • Haz-Mat Awareness level.
  • Basic Rigging for Rope Rescue training is required for the technical component of this class.

Copies of pre-requisite certificates must be provided prior to entry into the class.

Personal protective equipment required: agency or department attire. At the very least, all participants must have a helmet, work gloves, sturdy closed toed shoes/boots and long pants or coveralls.

Topics covered

Farm Incident Management; Animal Behavior & Handling; Foreign Animal Diseases/ Biosecurity and Zoonotics; Animal First Aid; Emergency Euthanasia; Professionalism and Liability Issues; Moving Recumbent Animals; Lifting Live Animals; Rigging for Animal Rescues.


  • Describe appropriate resources that should be requested to the scene of an emergency involving farm animals.
  • Demonstrate proper incident management steps during farm animal related emergency scenarios.
  • Discuss the behavior characteristics of various farm animals and demonstrate how to safely restrain and move them.
  • Discuss the importance of teamwork between emergency responders and farm animal specialists in managing emergencies involving farm animals.
  • Demonstrate effective emergency first aid care techniques on farm animals.
  • Demonstrate how to recognize, utilize, and improvise a variety of equipment and techniques in animal rescue scenarios.
  • Demonstrate the importance of utilizing preplan information in managing a variety of simulated farm emergency scenarios.

Local resources needed

  • Classroom facilities adequate for number of registrants with tables and chairs.
  • Screen and white board.
  • Arrangements for breaks and lunches.
  • 3-4 areas where animals can be contained while allowing ample space to move them around to practice animal handling procedures. Inside and outside facilities are ideal. Also a large area (approximately 500' x 500' or larger) where large and small farm animals can be contained during a rescue/emergency scenario. Fairground facilities with arenas are ideal for the above requirements.
  • Large farm animals such as cattle, horses, llamas, alpacas, etc. 4-6 of each.
  • Smaller farm animals such as goats, sheep, swine, etc. 4-6 of each.
  • Local rescue service with training and experience in ropes and rigging techniques with sufficient personnel to manage 3 simultaneous scenarios involving these skills. Ropes and rigging supplies necessary for this training will be provided by Penn State.

32 hour course