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MSU Extension Offers Training for First Responders to Accidents Involving Livestock

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First responders get experience handling pigs during an ERAIL training. Photo courtesy of MSU.

MSU Extension offers training for first responders, law enforcement officials and others on responding to accidents involving livestock

Program attendees will be better prepared to manage and respond to accidents involving livestock after attending this hands-on training in Imlay City on May 18.

From MSU Extension:

The animal agriculture industry is robust in the United States where millions of animals are transported weekly for various reasons. Transportation of animals occurs as part of the food system, for exhibition and for recreation; it is rare to find a day or highway where trucks and trailers hauling single, multiple or groups of animals does not occur. The transportation process comes with several risks that are associated with it, as unexpected accidents involving livestock can occur. These types of situations can quickly become chaotic with risks to the safety of the responders to the accidents, the welfare of the animals involved and the safety of the public traveling the roadways.

In order to assist first responders, law enforcement officials and the animal agriculture industry to be prepared for these situations, Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) has developed programming focused on Emergency Response to Accidents Involving Livestock (ERAIL). This program is designed to support Michigan’s animal agriculture industry by providing resources to assist in the response to accidents that involve animals. The ERAIL program focuses on three essential aspects:

  • Training first responders and animal transport professionals on how to respond effectively to transportation accidents when animals are involved.
  • Providing access to essential equipment required to mount an effective response, and training in its proper use.
  • Creating an organized network of trained responders throughout the state.

On May 18, 2024, the MSU Extension ERAIL team will host an in-person, hands-on training focused on increasing the awareness and skill set of first responders, law enforcement officials and others that may be involved in the response to an accident involving animals. This ERAIL Training will be held at the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds, 195 Midway St., Imlay City, MI 48910, and will start at 9 a.m. The cost of this training is $75 per person or $60 per person for groups of two or more. Please note, no refunds will be given after May 10, however substitutions may be made after that date. Registration is limited, so please register quickly.


Register for the May 18 ERAIL Training


It is expected that participants will come from varied professions and backgrounds, making this training experience robust and beneficial for all. Participants will receive animal handling and behavior instruction and a better understanding of how to handle compromised animals. They will also have the opportunity to utilize handling equipment to move cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, turkeys and honey bees while under the instruction of species experts. An ERAIL response trailer stocked with equipment, horse trailers and a large livestock transport trailer will be available for participants to view and tour during the training.

The training will also provide attendees with an excellent opportunity to network with local law enforcement groups, as well as formulate key questions for the continuous improvement of the systems they are each involved with. By taking advantage of the ERAIL Training opportunity and working to build a network of trained personnel, Michigan first responders and their partner stakeholders will be poised to better respond to accidents involving livestock effectively, thereby reducing risks to public safety, animal welfare and the negative economic impacts that these events can have on food production. These combined efforts, with future programming, will help to minimize the risks associated with these events and lessen the economic and welfare risks facing the animal agriculture industry when these events occur.

Registration information can be found by visiting the ERAIL Training Registration page. Questions about the training can be directed to:

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