County buys emergency livestock unit

Ponoka County recognized a need and stepped up to fill the void.

The county will purchase a livestock response trailer to deal with potential accidents involving livestock in the area.

The contained trailer will house panels, ropes, and halters, among other supplies that are essential to dealing with accident involving livestock.

“The most important thing is to contain the livestock. We look after the public and deal with injuries first and after we need to look after the livestock. It is important not to create another more dangerous situation, like livestock getting free, than is already there,” said RCMP Livestock Investigator David Heaslip.

Heaslip said 80,000 to 95,000 head of livestock travel on Alberta highways daily, creating a need in the area for the trailer.

“We consider ourselves to be the Cattle Capital of Canada, here in Ponoka, and there is a need for this trailer. It will be the second trailer in the province (the other is in Red Deer County) and serve an area east and west of town and north on number 2 highway,” said Heaslip.

Heaslip’s goal is to see seven or eight of the trailers placed strategically throughout the province so RCMP and emergency services could respond quickly and efficiently to accidents where livestock are present.

He believes it was important to get the best tools into the hands of emergency teams in the area.