News & Events

COW DEATH PROMPTS CALL FOR EMERGENCY PROTOCOL

University of California, Davis
July 28, 2010

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.