Veterinary scientists at the University have launched an animal handling course to help fire fighters work safely in situations involving large animals, such as cows and horses.
Merseyside, North Wales, Manchester and Shropshire Fire and Rescue services have enrolled on the course which addresses the major risks associated with handling horses that are loose in a field or stabled in a yard.
Large animals can become distressed if they sense danger and can inflect serious injury on fire fighters during rescue operations. Emergency services need staff with specialist knowledge in animal behaviour and handling in order to work safely with horses and farm animals.
Dr Caroline Argo, Lecturer in Animal Science and Equine Reproduction, said: “Fire fighters are dealing with emergency situations that involve large and small animals all the time, but the aim of this course is to ensure that all rescue workers feel confident and safe working with animals in these situations. It is also important that all officers are able to predict how animals will behave in different circumstances and have a good theoretical and practical knowledge of working with large animals in their environment.”