In response to the tragic July 27 shooting death of a cow at the California State Fair, David Wilson, a veterinarian and the director of the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California-Davis, is calling for a complete review of animal use and handling procedures for all animals intended for public exhibition at the state fair.

Wilson has also requested that the Veterinary Emergency Response Team at UC-Davis develop a plan and training module to help prepare public-safety officials at the fair and other large, public venues for incidents involving unrestrained large animals in public places or roadways.

Veterinarian John Madigan, an expert in emergency veterinary medicine and director of the Veterinary Emergency Response Team, said: “Loose cows or horses in crowded public places can threaten public safety. We must ensure that our animal handling procedures are designed to minimize the risk of animals escaping into public areas and that plans are in place for an effective and humane emergency response in the unlikely event that a large animal does escape.”

Madigan, who is also associate director of the teaching hospital’s large animal clinic, noted that a July 4 parade incident in Iowa, in which horses pulling a carriage stampeded and killed one person and injured more than 20 people, is an example of the risk and potential for injury that can result when livestock and horses are loose in public places.

Source: University of California-Davis