Speaker Profile


Victor MacPherson
Lead Instructor
University of Guelph
Large Animal Rescue and Livestock Emergency Response Training and Best Practices.

Livestock, including horses, are transported daily on roadways. Related transport accidents can involve loose, injured or dead livestock, as well as, human injury or death involving multiple vehicles. Distressed animals can be unpredictable and dangerous, thus presenting a risk of injury to responders. Large numbers of livestock travel daily on Ontario, Canada roadways. During 2019, Standardbred racing represented over 57,000 horse movements and cattle sold was over 400,000. Responding to any related transportation incident will involve people putting themselves and others at risk. Responders with training in large animal response can reduce on-scene time, costs and improve animal welfare outcomes. Related responder training varies between departments. Large animal rescue and livestock emergency response training provided as hands-on and virtual is an effective forum to create positive change. Through proper training of best practices, risks to responders and others involved in livestock transport incidents are mitigated. These programs are provided by Equine Guelph, University of Guelph and Farm & Food Care Ontario. Equine Guelph's online education program on TheHorsePortal.ca is a partnership with the provincial equestrian federations (Canada), Equestrian Canada, the Ontario racing industry and various local organizations. Farm & Food Care Ontario is a coalition of Ontario livestock groups (farmfoodcareon.org/livestock-emergencies).

Victor MacPherson became involved with the TLAER program in 2013, having completed several training seminars, and assisted in both training and facilitating courses with Equine Guelph and Dr. Rebecca Gimenez-Husted. During that time Victor was involved with several operational rescues with the fire department. Victor is also a facilitator for fire services response for Farm and Food Care Ontario.