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Horse-Rescue Training Offered During Vet School Symposium

Horse Press Release

What: In the face of flood, fire or accident, advance preparation and training in emergency horse care and rescue methods may make the difference between life and death. To help horse owners plan for such unexpected events and to train them in rescue techniques, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is offering an "Equine Emergency and Disaster Response Symposium." Some 200 horse owners and equine veterinarians are expected to attend this daylong meeting, complete with afternoon demonstrations -- including a helicopter airlift. A specially designed horse mannequin named "Lucky" will be used in the airlift simulation. No live animals will be used in the demonstrations.

When: Saturday, April 24
Lectures -- 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Demonstrations -- 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Morning sessions will be in Room 180 of the Health Sciences Complex, located near Highway 113 and Hutchison Drive. Afternoon demonstrations will take place in the nearby quadrangle.

Background: This event is sponsored by the School of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Equine Health. The school, with leadership from veterinary professor John Madigan, has a long history of working to develop equipment and protocols to improve training and emergency-response capabilities for animals, particularly horses and livestock. Madigan has coordinated the UC Davis Veterinary Emergency Response Team and the Large Animal Rescue Team. Both teams are composed of volunteer faculty, staff and students. They are highly trained to work in collaboration with agencies such as the California Office of Emergency Service, the American Red Cross and the California Veterinary Medical Association to provide emergency veterinary care and rescue services.

Visuals: 1:30 p.m. -- Fire department performing a rescue from horse trailer following mock vehicle accident
2:15 p.m. -- Veterinary rescue team simulating moving a horse that can't walk
3 p.m. -- Extracting a horse from a ditch or inaccessible area
4 p.m. -- Helicopter rescue simulation

Directions and Parking: From Interstate 80, take Highway 113 north toward Woodland. Take the Hutchison Drive exit and turn right, driving east toward the main campus. Turn right at the first opportunity onto Health Sciences Drive, turn left onto East Health Sciences Drive and park in Lot 54 on the right. A parking pass is not necessary on the weekend.