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Large Animal Rescue

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Tags: Animal Welfare

That this House notes:

1.     That Large Animal Rescue (LAR) involves the removal of a large animal from a place of danger to a place of safety by the most humane method, with regard for the safety and welfare of the animals, responders and members of the public;

2.     That generally, LAR is the response phase to a natural or man-made disaster or accident where specialised training and equipment are required to rescue a large animal such as a horse, cow or alpaca;

3.     That LAR training programs and rescue teams have been developed and refined internationally;

4.     The International Large Animal Rescue Conference for Disasters held, for the first time in the southern hemisphere, in Adelaide at the end of 2013, which was supported by the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS);

5.     That according to the conference organiser, Julie Fielder, “when an animal is trapped in a hole, by wire, in a road crash or mud – it can easily revert to the inbuilt ‘fight or flight’ ... [and that] this especially applies to horses”;

6.     That the conference found emergency service workers faced unmanaged risk because they were attending rescues involving large animals;

7.     That the findings from the conference transpired into an offer of nationalised, standardised training to all state and territory governments, but that sadly that offer was rejected by our Liberal Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Rene Hidding;

8.     That Tasmanian industry stakeholders hold grave fears for the safety of both animals and first responders due to the lack of training and preparation to which emergency service workers are provided;

9.     That specialised equipment is also lacking to provide for LAR in Tasmania and that international standards recommend various specialised equipment and a multidisciplinary approach to ensure the safety of emergency service workers, and to prevent further injury to large animals such as irreparable spinal damage, rope burn, stretched ligaments, broken bones and broken necks;

10.   That unfortunately many farmers and other large animal owners will not even call for emergency assistance in rescuing their large animals due to the knowledge that such workers are not adequately trained, and thus then putting themselves, as well as their animals, in further danger; and


Further, this House:

11.   Calls on Police and Emergency Services Minister, Rene Hidding, to urgently undertake a review into the current training level of Tasmanian emergency services workers in LAR and to begin implementation of training programs and the acquisition of specialised rescue equipment, so as to ensure the safety of animals, first responders and community members.