International Animal Welfare Training Institute


Accomplishments - 2009

UC Davis IWATI awarded grant from the California Emergency Management Agency (CAL-EMA) to rejuvenate and define the California Animal Emergency Response System. The grant was awarded to Dr. John Madigan and Tracey Stevens- Martin and brings a new focus to this state animal plan for animals in emergencies. The grant allows IAWTI to focus efforts on 4 California counties to develop a local animal emergency response and mechanism of how to ask for and receive aid if needed in a large scale emergency or disaster.

California Race Track Disaster Plan - California Equine Medical Director Rick Arthur requested assistance with the development of a disaster plan applicable to California racetracks. IAWTI director Madigan worked with a team at UC Davis and has completed the final stages of a draft plan that covers, floods, fires, earthquakes, power losses, infectious disease outbreak, toxic or biological event, etc.

Equine Facilities Biosecurity Booklet - Dr. Madigan developed a biosecurity information and action plan for large horse events and race tracks to contain and manage a infectious disease outbreak. The next phase is to coordinate the formation of small accessible pocket size booklets using one of IAWTI educational partners to sponsor the printings.   

Breeders Cup Emergency Planning - Dr. Madigan was invited to speak to the Santa Anita track veterinarians prior to this years’ Breeds Cup races. Dr. Madigan discussed the emergency plans for horse accidents on the race track and introduced the idea of using an  incident command structure  to coordinate the response.

Equine Sanctuary and Rescue Facilities Guidelines - Following a IAWTI think tank session last year with Tom Lenz, the need for information for how to operate a equine sanctuary became apparent.  Drs Ferraro, Stull and Madigan developed a new and comprehensive guide that covers business operation needs, facility requirements, feeding and husbandry considerations and a variety of other topics. The guide is available for download free via  

Veterinary Emergency Response Team - Training Modules- The VERT student organization has conducted trainings of veterinary students using these IAWTI developed modules for basic emergency response methods. The modules cover equine  down horse emergency approach, vertical lifting methods with the Large Animal Lift and UC Davis Anderson Sling, rolling the down horse, tail ties and knots needed in emergencies, cow sling application, and safety training around the equine emergency patient. Approximately 100-200 students have been trained this year.

IAWTI- VERT Emergency Responses 2009

Auburn horse rescue - after many frantic calls for assistance to local veterinarians and fire department a distressed owner finally reached Dr. Madigan and the VERT team who responded and performed a rescue of the horse off the trail using skids and local fire men for person power to move the horse to safety.

American River stranded horse Airlift rescue - Dr. Madigan and VERT were contacted regarding a horse stranded in the American river. See Video on News page

Hawk hit by Car and saved by VERT and CAEP - Many have seen the remarkable story of the hawk hit by a car and embedded in the grill and driven that way to the large animal clinic where by chance Dr. Madigan was visiting with a client and sprung the emergency response team into action.

VERT outreach for equine emergency response- Demonstrations provided by VERT students from  UC Davis  at Picnic Day, The horse expo at Cal-Expo, Bishop Mule Days.

Veterinary Student Lectures - Dr. Madigan and Tracey Stevens Martin gave a 2 hour lecture on current issues in animal welfare and the role of the veterinarian to Dr. Tannebaun's ethic class.

FEMA Community Preparedness National Conference - Washington DC.  Dr. Madigan and Tracey Stevens-Martin were invited lecturers at this national meeting of Citizen emergency responders in the animal disaster response section.  TSM presented her highly acclaimed Pet Emergency Preparedness for Communities talk and Madigan presented the role of veterinary medicine in disaster and emergency response.

Medical Reserve Corp Regional Meeting- Cody Wyoming - Tracey Stevens- Martin and senior veterinary student and VERT president Cheryl Ellis attended this meeting of the medical reserve corp.

Medical Reserve Corp - Capacity Building Grant- the VERT division of IAWTI received a $10,000 capacity building award in 2008-09. VERT applied again in 2010 and another $5,000 award was given to VERT.

American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Meeting. 2009 - Dr. Madigan was the facilitator of the AAEP disaster and emergency response forum at the annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

International Fund For Animal Welfare - (IFAW)- Dick Green the executive director of animal emergency response entered into an agreement with IAWTI for sharing of equipment and coordination of emergency response with IAWTI and VERT at UC Davis.  A 4 door, 4 wheel drive 2 ton truck and 36 ft emergency operations trailer is now on site at UC Davis. Further arrangements are being made for coordinated local, state and international responses with IFAW and IAWTI.

Helicopter Airlift Safety Training - A intensive two day courses in Michigan sponsored by the US Army was attended by VERT club president Cherl Ellis.

IAWTI lecture series

The first program of its kind featuring invited experts to speak to UC Davis veterinary and animal science students, residents, faculty and staff was launched by IAWTI last year. (see about us)

Future talks for 2010 include Dr. Jim Reynolds from UC Tulare speaking on food animal audits for animal welfare and Dr. Heather Case from the American Veterinary Medical Association speaking on the new AVMA VMAT teams which deploy to various states for disaster response.

Appointments to Advisory Committees for Animal Welfare:

  • Dr. Madigan was appointed as a  welfare subject matter expert to the American Association of Equine Practitioners Welfare committee.
  • Dr. Madigan was appointed to the Foster Farms Welfare Advisory Committee 
  • California State Government Presentations:
    • CDFA - planning group- the CARES Concept from UC Davis perspective- presented at California Farm Bureau

International efforts

OIE publication - Dr. Madigan and Ian Dacre of the World Society for the Protection of Animals authored a publication in the OIE - Preparing for Veterinary Emergencies : Disaster Management and the Incident Command System.

Argentina Veterinary Medical Association & Argentina Association Equine Veterinarians invited Dr. Madigan and Tracey Stevens-Martin to speak at their conferences in Buenos Aires. Stevens provide a  welfare lecture sharing  methods of using  public service announcement for care of animals in disasters and  pet emergency preparedness. Madigan addressed the methods of equine emergency treatments and response and the coordination of  emergency response for horses in road side accidents.

Australia - the horrific wild land fires resulted in many animals being burned. Dr. Madigan and VERT were consulted on approaches to large herd treatment of burns and methods of field assessment and prognosis for burned cattle, sheep and horse.

Summary - Dr. John Madigan was the stimulus for integrating the issues of animal welfare in the School of Veterinary Medicine  under one umbrella to allow faulty, students and staff to address  issues  of important to animals and veterinary medicine.  The goal was to facilitate greater involvement of the SVM in welfare, the result being the International Animal Welfare Training Institute.  At the time of the Hallmark dairy cow abuse incident, UC Extension was the only welfare identified group in the SVM for agriculture welfare issues. The industry and the public became focused on various dairy industry practices as the outrage and concern over the Hallmark incident grew.  The IAWTI helped developed workshops on animal welfare in the north and south of the state resulting in engagement of producers and government agencies  to focus on welfare concerns.  Following the success of that effort, the Dean of the SVM independently formed a UC Animal Welfare Advisory Council and broadened the input from the College of Agriculture and CSU system. 

Future needs

Currently IAWTI receives no funding from the SVM other than a 40% time faculty commitment to Dr. Madigan for which the IAWTI organization is grateful.  The many challenges for  animal welfare requires  additioinal support for speaker invitations, student projects, administrative assistance, conference travel, etc.  Donations directed to IAWTI as a gift will further these efforts in 2010.