Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue pt. 1

By: Melissa Moggy

Alberta Farm Animal Care hosted a Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) workshop at the Pomery Inn & Suites in Olds, AB. Firefighters, rescue officers, paramedics/EMTs, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary students, and producers attended the workshop. Dr. Rebecca Gimenez presented many important topics that everyone involved with large animals should know. The first topic is:

Keep It Simple

In a scenario where a large animal is in need of rescuing, be it a trailer turnover or stuck in a hole, the first thing that should be done is call 911 and check if any people are in need of medical assistance. You can then check if the animal is at risk. If the animal is safe where it is, supply the animal with food and water. This gives you time to plan a rescue strategy. You need to decide if this is a self-rescue or technical rescue situation.

Self-rescue – the animal is able to rescue itself with some assistance.

Technical rescue – the animal is unable to rescue itself.

When you call 911 request the nearest Emergency Livestock Handling Equipment Trailer. There are 12 trailers across Alberta, with another in the making. These trailers and the protective service officers are prepared for rescue situations. The Red Deer County Protective Services were kind enough to bring their trailer and demonstrate how these trailers are prepared for just about anything. Thank you again Red Deer County Protective Services!!!



Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue

There are many emergency situations that affect livestock in Alberta – barn fires, trailer rollovers, mud, flooding, etc. These are crises that we cannot handle on our own without the assistance of emergency personnel, many of whom are not livestock owners themselves.
The Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) course, delivered by Dr. Rebecca Gimenez, will help educate rescue personnel and livestock owners to better assist with large animal emergencies. The course features practical considerations, behavioural understanding, specialty equipment, techniques, methodologies, and tactics to perform the safe extrication of a large animal from an entrapment. This knowledge will greatly assist emergency responders and animal handlers in local emergencies and disaster areas.

The TLAER course will bring together people from all disciplines and introduce the latest concepts, techniques, procedures and equipment being used today. Attendees will learn how to work together in an emergency, build action plans, and apply techniques to extricate animals safely while keeping responders safe as well.

The TLAER course is applicable for veterinarians, livestock owners, firefighters, law enforcement personnel, animal control officers, or other individuals involved with large animals. 

Join us on June 25 and 26 for this two-day course at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites in Olds, Alberta. The course fee of $300 includes a textbook, breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.

For more information and to register for the course, visit:

Aqua Cow Rise System

All the way from Denmark comes an innovative, world recognized system in animal care for helping down cows. In less than an hour, two people can successfully move a down cow into this portable tank. It’s as easy as 5 steps:

1. Back the Aqua Cow tank to the cow and remove the end doors.

2. Get the cow on the drag mat, and then pull it into the tank with the winch or a tractor.

3. Remount the end doors. If the cow is to be floated at another location, tow her there in the tank.

4. Pump in body temperature water. The cow senses the lifting undercurrent, wants to stay ahead of it, and uses it to get herself up.

5. Then, is she well enough to stay in the tank? If she is, feed and cover her and leave her in for 8 – 14 hrs.

For more detailed step by step instructions head over here:

AquaCow 1

Cost A standard steel tank is $4,250 and may be better for owners of large dairies and those who would use the tanks less often and are able to keep them clean and dry most of the time. A stainless tank is $6,150, but will stay like new for a longer period of time, thus increasing it’s resale value. Also better for customers that would use it more frequently. Each Aqua Cow tank includes dragmat, mounted winch, aluminum feed rack, stainless ramp, canvas tarp & 3 overhead brackets, quick-connect ball valve, dolly, extra door seal. There can also be a discount taken off if any of the attachments aren’t needed. The latest feature available is a built-in electric water heater that can be purchased for an extra $600. It’s main purpose is to maintain the water in the tank at body temperature in cold weather. With an extremely helpful website that lists instructions on how to conduct a physical exam and how to handle down cows, the Aquacow Rise System is a cutting edge company that knows what livestock owners need. And delivers.

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Social Media in Animal Agriculture #morethanjustacowvet

By: Courtney Cassidy

Dr. Cody Creelman, a cow vet from Airdrie Alberta, believes he is more then just a cow vet. At the 2015 Livestock Care Conference, Dr. Creelman began to tell his story. He spends half is time at cow/calf ranches and the other half at feed lots. Cody explains his job in one quote, “Some of you may be able to relate to this, some of you may wonder why, someone would enjoy rolling around in cow shit, puss, and blood, and fluids, and all other types of unspeakable messes but I love it. Life is messy and being a cow vet is a mess story, and its that story that I here to talk to you today about.”

How is he more then just a cow vet? Dr. Creelman is also a storyteller. He tells his story in the year he lives in, which means he tells it with social media. “A story can do things. A story can educate. A story can advocate. A story can entertain. A story can connect people and bring people together.” Dr. Creelman uses Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Blogs, and podcasts. To him, social media is way to help his brand, promote his clinic (Veterinary Agri-Health Services), and help to educate others about the agriculture industry. Dr. Creelman then went into depths of what social media is, although most of us are young and have a vague idea of what it is, his typical audience is “crusty old cow vets, and they are old, and they got grey hair”. Social media is the evolution of the Internet, it’s used to consume media, educate, to read news, and entertain in a social environment. “And with this other things can happen too “said Creelman, “Secrets are revealed and agendas are pushed.”

The goal of telling a good story is to connect with people where their interests are. There are different markets and target audiences, and you need to take the time for each one. Everyone has a story to tell and Creelman encourages you to tell it through social media. “Misinformation is the greatest threat there could ever be to animal agriculture. There are people out there who are telling a story too. Telling a story about farming and telling a story about animals, and animal agriculture, (and) their story is sensational; their story has all the right components, to be very shareable” said Dr. Creelman.

Cody admits that not everything done in the industry is perfect, but it is better since years passed. In order to stay credible our story needs to be told. This means to tell the good, tell the bad, and tell the ugly. “Sometimes the story is beautiful”, said Cody as he brings up a photo of a new born dead calf “Sometimes it is heart wrenching”. Silence had filled the room, he hates those days but he shares it. We should celebrate the good; show the bad, there is nothing to hide. We are living a heart-wrenching story and we are sharing it to take the power away from the vocal activists.

“I was wrong”, began Cody, “I thought animal agriculture was good, and pure, and wholesome. But what I can’t live with is someone deciding that what I do is bad, or murder, or rape based off of untruths, propaganda, or even pure ignorance. So I tell my story, I fight, I teach, I tell the good, and I tell the bad. But I need help; I need  all of you to tell your story too, because it’s a big story. At the end of the day; I really am just a cow vet.”

If you want to connect with Cody you can find him on Facebook (Vet Agri- Health Services LTD), Twitter (@vetpracticeVAHS), Instagram (VetpracticeVAHS), Vine (VAHS Cody Creelman), and Snapchat (Creelmancody)

“Understanding Consumer Perceptions in Alberta” – Nick Black

By: Melissa Moggy

Nick Black was a welcome speaker to this year’s Livestock Care Conference. He presented the findings of the AFAC initiated research project that was created to investigate Alberta consumers’ perceptions concerning animal health and welfare. The study involved in-depth interviews with 15 Albertans and an online survey of 742 Albertans, between the ages of 15 and 69 years old.

The results of the study identified 4 “types” of consumers: the instinctive carnivore, the pragmatic suppressor, the selective idealist, and the conscious rejecter.

1. The instinctive carnivore is the type of consumer that is driven by the need to eat and enjoy animal products (i.e. meat, poultry, dairy). The instinctive carnivore views animals as necessities to human survival and they appear to have little concern for farm animal health and welfare.

2. The pragmatic suppressor is the type of consumer that is driven by the need to provide affordable nutritional meals. They appear to ignore concerns regarding farm animal health and welfare, as acknowledging these concerns may hinder their ability to purchase food within their budget.

3. The selective idealist is the type of consumer that is driven by the desire to experience eating while not overlooking their ideals. They appear to take their principles, regarding animalhealth and welfare, into account when making their purchasing decisions. For example, someone who will only eat organic eggs because they believe it is healthier for the chickens OR someone who buys directly from farmer so they can know more about the conditions the animals were raised in.

4. The conscious rejecter is the type of consumer that is driven by their ethical or health-related morals. This type of consumer includes vegetarians and vegans. However, this type also includes people that restrict their diet based on their moral beliefs pertaining to specific species of farm animal’s health and welfare. For example, someone who will not eat eggs, because of their concern regarding chicken welfare in egg-production facilities OR someonewho doesn’t eat red meat as they believe that it is unhealthy.

What type of consumer are you?

Job Title: The Calgary Stampede Performance Animal Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Area of Specialization: Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Start Date: Immediate

Faculty/Admin Area: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Department/Unit: Production Animal Health

Job Term: 2 years guaranteed. Up to three years possible depending on performance

Salary: To be determined based on experience and motivation, minimum of 55,000 per year


Research into the welfare of performance animals is an important element as are programs to train highly qualified personnel, such as scientists, within the performance animal industry. Both areas are required to ensure the sustainability of the performance animal industry. UCVM working with the Calgary Stampede have initiated research and training opportunities; this fellowship increases those experiences and continues building a program in performance animal health and welfare.

Qualifications/Expertise Required:

A Ph.D. degree in the area of animal behaviour and welfare. Experience with animals used in western events performance would be an asset. The successful candidate should also have relevant and recent peer-reviewed first author publications. Funding is available immediately, however the candidate is still expected to seek external research support

Duties and Responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities of this role include, but are not limited to:

1) Research Activities

• Provide leadership and complete multiple research projects on the welfare of performance animals used in western events. There is an expectation that the work would result in peer-reviewed publications.

• Involvement with outreach/education opportunities with the Calgary Stampede that could also result in peer-reviewed publications.

•The fellow will be expect to apply for external fundiing each year

2) Industry experience

•Extensive work with management, Stampede departments, volunteers, sponsors, suppliers, event participants, consultants, exhibitors and industry representatives and the community regarding animal care and welfare issues.

• Regularly review amd maintain animal care codes of practice and programs for the OH Ranch, Stampede Ranch, Rodeo, Chuckwagons, Agriculture and Western Performance Horse.

•Assist in the development and delivery of training programs on animal care for staff, volunteers, and other key stakeholders.

•Participate and provide expertise in animal care strategic planning.

•Actively participate in the communication of animal care initiatives to both internal and external stakeholders.

•Work with animal care assessment consultant.


The Fellowship will be primarily supervised by Dr. Ed Pajor, the Anderson-Chisholm Chair in Animal Care and Welfare and the Director of Western Events and Agriculture at the Calgary Stampede, this position will combine post-doctoral research with the experience of working within the performance animal industry at the Calgary Stampede. Dr. Ed Pajor will have primary responsibility for research activities and will approve all activities with the Calgary Stampede (CS). Daily supervision and reporting while working on CS activities will be to the Director of Western Events and Agriculture at the Calgary Stampede.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation’s most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2016, where innovative teaching and ground breaking research go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. The strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by our Gaelic motto, which translates to ‘I will lift up my eyes.

About the Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is a not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates western heritage, cultures and community spirit. The Stampede contributes to the quality of life by promoting volunteerism, presenting a year-round slate of events, investing in youth and agricultural. At the root of the Calgary Stampede brand are the core values of western hospitality, integrity, pride of place, and commitment to the community.

About Calgary

Named a cultural capital of Canada and one of the best places to live in the world, Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the majestic Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

Application Information

This position would be best suited for an individual interested in a career in the performance animal industry. Interested candidates should send a cover letter describing their interest and motivation, a CV and contact information for three references to (subject header: CS Post-Doc position) or to the address below. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Calgary respects, appreciates, and encourages diversity.

Contact Information

Dr. Ed Pajor, Ph.D

Anderson-Chisholm Chair in Animal Care and Welfare

Professor of Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Research Leader, Pain and Animal Welfare Group

Department of Production Animal Health

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

University of Calgary

3330 Hospital Drive NW

Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1


Phone: 403-210-7328