Advice to drivers transporting horses

A MAN who died following an attempt to assist a distressed horse has prompted firefighters to issue advice to motorists who transport their horses on the road.

Both Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) and the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) want to draw all equine owners attention to a 51 year old man in Lancashire who was kicked to death on October 31 when he entered a horse box while his horse was distressed.

Motorists are urged to dial 999 and wait for emergency help if they become involved in a road traffic collision while towing a horse box, rather than trying to calm the horse themselves.

Russell Metcalfe, Animal Rescue Specialist for CFRS, said: “Incidents involving equine transportation on UK roads differ greatly from regular road traffic collisions. When things go wrong with horses, there is a significant chance of members of the public placing themselves in immense danger attempting to resolve the situation.

“In most cases horses that are trapped in vehicles or in a compromised position require professional assistance from trained responders including large animal vets and animal rescue teams from the fire and rescue service.”

In order for your horse to have the best possible chance of being rescued with minimal injury and distress, the fire service recommends the following actions:

• Ensure no one is tempted to enter a horse box to assist a horse as this may lead to injury of both horse and person.

• Do not be tempted to open up doors and ramps- this invites a stressed horse to strive for that perceived escape route and may make the situation much worse.

• Try to stay calm yourself as this will give reassurance to your horse and help you to think more clearly. • Call the fire service bydialling 999 and asking for the animal rescue team.

• Call own large animal vet, or if you are away from home, inform the Fire Control operator and they will contact an equine vet through the BEVA directory of vets willing to attend emergencies.