BARTA International Congress


Since we set-up BARTA in 2012, the UK has been leading the way in the development of accredited training and protocols for everyone involved in the provision of rescue and trauma care for large animals. Whether you are a vet, farmer, horse owner, event organiser, animal transporter or a member of the fire and rescue service, understanding the technical aspects of large animal rescue and how a joined-up response to incidents involving horses and livestock can help to ensure both the safety of those involved and the viability of the animal can be the difference between a life saved and a life lost.

Following growing demand from vets and emergency responders across Europe, we held our first ever Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Congress in Prague in December 3rd-5th 2015.

This was an opportunity for everyone involved in large animal rescue or trauma care to come together and discuss the latest developments, share ideas and find out how the UK developed a multi-agency joined-up response to incidents involving large animals.

The congress explored how incident management procedures, used routinely by emergency responders, coupled with safe animal handling principals and techniques are being increasingly utilised in equine sport and events to manage situations that will occur on or around the field of play. It also outline how training for veterinarians in rescue and trauma care is mapped to the needs of emergency situations and how the principles of trauma care for animals are changing the way incidents involving animals are viewed and responded to within the UK. BARTA explored the implications of livestock and equine transportation emergencies for responders and casualties, discussing the problems associated with fire safety in agriculture and gained consensus on the requirements for a 21st century large animal ambulance.

The Horse Trust is extremely proud to be sponsoring BARTA’s Animal Rescue Conference this year.

As an organisation we work closely with the emergency services to support them in their vital role of rescuing and caring for horses in crisis situations from a pony loose on a highway to a horse caught in a major incident. These animals can be extremely dangerous to work with. They are often frightened and much can be done to lessen their trauma and to keep those attending them, and the public, safe.

Attending a four day Animal Rescue Course arranged by Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service our Welfare and Training Officer described it as invaluable, providing a real perspective of how the Service deals with various rescue scenarios.

It is essential that all those involved in animal rescue have the right knowledge, equipment and skills to ensure safe and successful rescues and this exciting conference programme looks set to make a real difference.

Jeanette Allen, CEO, The Horse Trust


Below are a selection of video presentations from the event.

Transporting Injured Animals – Dr Zdenek Zert
Length: 21 minutes
By: Zdeněk Žert – Vet Med Uni Brno – Head of the Surgery Department of Equine Clinic -Uni of Vet and Pharm Sci Brno

The movement of horses is a demanding option, particularly in cases of myopathy, pelvic fracture, severe neurological problem etc.

Livestock transportation
Length: 18 minutes
By: John Blackwell – BVSc MRCVS – Director – Brownlow Veterinary Centre

A look at the legislation surrounding the Transport of Animals exploring the reasoning behind transport and recovery, economic salvage or humane destruction at the scene.

Large Animal Rescue: The Human Factors
Length: 41 minutes
By: Dr Kirrilly Thompson PhD Senior Research Fellow Central Queensland University Appleton Institute

Animals are usually considered the most dangerous and unpredictable element of Large Animal Rescue. But humans too have their own natural instincts that can introduce risk.

How do Horse Guardians Respond to Bush Fire Threats
Length: 27 minutes
By: Dr Kirrilly Thompson & Julie Fiedler
Horse Behaviour at Incidents
Length: 43 minutes
By: Gemma Pearson – BVMS CERT AVP (EM) MRCVS – Senior Clinical Scholar in Equine Practice – Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh

Horses are large, powerful animals with a strong fear response, this usually makes them the most dangerous aspect of a rescue scenario.